At the corner of Main Street and Gambier Street, on the actual crossroads between Kenyon College’s village and the city of Mount Vernon sits the Schnormeier Gallery, an art gallery owned by Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU). Inside the gallery currently sits a “pop-up art show,” with the goal of connecting the arts communities of MVNU, Kenyon, and other Knox County collegiate institutions.
The show is a joint effort between the Gund Gallery and the Schnormeier Gallery, which is situated in the lobby of MVNU’s Buchwald Center, a 42,000-square-foot facility dedicated to art and design. Curated by both members of the Gund Gallery Associates Program and MVNU students, the pop-up show primarily feature works of art by the art students of both schools, although the curators invited students of any major to submit to the show.
In the center of the gallery sits a sculpture of a throne made entirely of books. The sculpture, titled “Throne of Knowledge,” is by Kenyon College studio art major Kaylin Allshouse ’19. Most of the books are paperback, and the sculpture even contains work by Kenyon alumnus E.L. Doctorow ’52 H’76.
One of the MVNU students who contributed to the show is Cassandra Hampton, a sophomore art major. Her piece in the gallery is an untitled oil painting that depicts the hat worn by U.S. Marines against a deep pink background.
“I placed [the marine’s cap] against a pink-patterned background. This speaks to the femininity of a female in the Marine Corps while it pushes against the masculinity of the military represented [by the cap],” Hampton said.
It’s a visceral image, but it’s also just one of several pieces of expressive and technically impressive art by students of the combined Knox County colleges.
“I think it’s a great idea to involve both of the schools. It gives the students a chance to network with other artists and reach outside the art community in one school,” Hampton said. “I also think it’s a great way to be exposed to new and different ideas in art, there are so many talented students among both schools and it is really awesome to see them and experience that energy in person.”
The combined talent on display at the Schnormeier Gallery is beyond commendable, and well worth the short trek into downtown Mount Vernon to appreciate the efforts of the Knox County artistic community.
The gallery is located at 221 South Main St., Mount Vernon, Ohio. The pop-up showcase opened on Nov. 5 and will run until Nov. 16. The show’s reception is on Nov. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.