View the Class of 2020's Senior Exhibition UN/RE-TOLD via a virtual Gallery experience.
The Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts, Gordon College is proud to announce the Thesis Exhibition of its art graduates from the Class of 2020. The exhibition was cancelled in May of this year due to the Covid pandemic but is now installed in the two main galleries and Loggia Exhibition Hall of the Barrington Center. At present the exhibition is not open to the public until the Commonwealth of Massachusetts removes this limit—but the exhibit will be featured in an online “virtual exhibition” beginning the week of August 31. This exhibition is the culmination of four years of intensive studio art study and practice and constitutes the main artistic “statement” of the graduates––revealing genuine insight, artistic excellence, and high motivation of these young artists.
Professional Photos by Peter Morse listed under each artist profile
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Gallery List (PDF)
Hannah Andres | [email protected]
The Garden of Transient Immortality
I didn’t know what I was making when I started drawing—no rough draft, sketch, or even story concept. I wanted to discover the world as I was creating it and for others to discover stories for themselves as well. If you haven’t taken a good look yet, I would encourage you to before reading further because what I discovered about the story may not be what you do in looking at it yourself (and my own opinion will surely change as I keep drawing).
This year, much has changed. Ironically, previously my work has dealt with the fear of the unknown, the darkness and beauty wrapped up in change. And while this piece deals with similar themes, sleep has been a concept that was revealed to me through my subject matter. In the center of the drawing that I have so far is the figure of a woman with her arm out stretched, blinded and commanding. To me, she is sleep. Sleep is peace, a moment to breathe, grow, and heal. But it also brings connotations of passivity and unawareness. As I continue drawing, I will be adding more human-like spirits who are interacting with her, such as the figure in the back who has fallen asleep and become still like a mountain. A woman in the foreground, who is drawn in pencil but not inked yet, will symbolize growth, and further characters will symbolize destruction, action, and hope. I’m not attempting to make everything a one to one comparison, however. Sleep also connotes dreams—vague, bizarre, and from which many different meanings can be taken from. In the same way, the drawing is a dream world of its own, ready to be adventured in.
Medium: Pen and Ink on Paper
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Kathryn Berchin | [email protected]
Let's Meet Here
Where should we meet?
While transitioning home after studying abroad last year, I started to take on and live out what I had learned about the deep connections we are capable of having with people and places. I started to realize that I could develop that same level of connection with the present and that developing those connections with many places—not only the ones I was longing for—would enable me to embody all that I had come to dearly love and to love all that I had not yet embodied. This time of discovering who I had changed into after such a significant experience as encountering the unfamiliar led to my idea for this installation which combines the elements of many places into one dynamic space, causing those who engage with it to experience what it is like to embody multiple places.
However, we have spent the last few months in isolation, and our ability to go out and engage richly with place has been challenged in so many ways. When I found myself carrying many places with me in the seclusion of my home, my process had to shift to fit this new unfamiliar and uncomfortable place. Instead of solely working on the installation idea which flowed from my experiences pre-quarantine, I started working on prints that speak to the tension of being locked down while having been changed by many places. While this current place we all find ourselves in is still so difficult, we are together being changed by a shared experience of encountering the unfamiliar - this strange place that stunts and grows, brings grief and beauty, and is utterly exhausting to interact with. But perhaps we will eventually find that it is one of the many places that speaks into the fabric of who we are. My work pre- and post-quarantine must have this difficult conversation—this current place speaking into the places I’ve embodied and those places helping me embody this place. The space inside my heart and mind is where they intersect—this one space, which I have been surprised to find brings many ways to one.
So, let’s meet here.
Meredith Free | [email protected]
The Trees Lament
For centuries across cultures and continents, tree imagery has helped individuals process, integrate, and reconcile with death. Imagery of trees provides bereaved individuals with an external place in which to process, accept, and recontextualize their experience of death into the rest of their lived experience, resulting in a realization of greater wholeness. Trees are not merely used to depict grief, rather trees appear to merge with the bereaved to embody the complex nature of grief.
I have sought to carry forward this tradition by using tree imagery to capture memories I associate with loss. Trees provide a place for the unplaceable memories of trauma and grief and become a reliable guide who lead the bereaved back through the ambiguities of memory. By reflecting on the death of my mother four years ago, I sought a visual language to capture the incomprehensible significance of memories in grief.
The process I developed in these paintings involves many layers of acrylic paint that are scraped and sanded away, leaving remnants of color clinging to the surface, and uncovering stratified layers beneath. Often a violent process, this technique embodied and transferred to the surface of my paintings the abrading feeling of grief. In some cases, I applied nihonga as the final layer—a traditional Japanese painting technique that utilizes finely crushed minerals and semi-precious stones as pigments—to form a “veil” over the paintings. Through active creation and destruction, an elusive beauty emerged in the paintings which spoke to me of the soul-ripping sublimity of grief.
These paintings condensed my sense of my mother’s presence, and more importantly, made tangible the presence of her absence. The lack of her presence filled these images of trees, giving me a place in which to bestow the thoughts, memories, and love which no longer have a physical manifestation. The process and result of my paintings have allowed me to find a way back to the tree of life, to the wholeness that existed in my world before my mother departed it.
Elizabeth Girardy | [email protected]
Bible + Pink
By bathing the messages I received in pink, the church presented me with a Christian life that was Jesus plus (or minus) my femininity. This piece explores why the imposition of gender on Bibles and devotional books alienates girls.
I used the imagery of the princess because she was my aspiration as a younger person. I was meant to be God’s princess: well behaved and quiet. I believe that she was there in the absence of visible Christian women to look up to. I didn’t resonate with her, but she was all I had.
This is why the Bible I used was one bound in pink and marketed to girls. As I cut into it, I recalled memories of reading the Bible as a child. I had questions. Why was being a girl Christian different than being a Christian? Didn’t we all have the same Bible?
I didn’t realize until recently why I rebelled against any dressed up Bible or devotional. Weaving a caricature of femininity into how a person should interact with God’s Word distorts both. I was called to imitate Christ not whoever this princess is supposed to be
Medium: Paper Mache, Chicken Wire, Cardboard, Pleather, Ribbon, NIrV Bible
Michaela Lick | [email protected]
This development of work stems from my curiosity concerning what the mind subconsciously visualizes without permission from the individual. Within one’s own dream state subconscious visualization has the space to flourish and explore without permission. My original encounter with what this body of work would become, came about in the form of a dream. After attempting to fluently replicate what I had envisioned I came to realize it would be necessary to hold loosely to my initial beginnings.
The process of making this body of work became reflective of more than just the imagery within my dreams, but began to encapsulate more perplexing notions. The allure of painting stems from its ability to explore beyond the ideational inception of an idea, allowing one the ability to enter and inhabit other spaces. In order to fully explore this idea, I found it important to heavily rely on the material for substance rather than the subject matter; to explore where the vision led to, I left space for change and manipulation.
MaryKate McKinney | [email protected]
“I am vulnerable in my room. My mind is my room. I allow myself to simply be and am transcended into my thought patterns and memories. They are coated in gems and dreamlike hues. To step into my mind is to step into an ethereal incandescence. Memories are hazy. They have rhythm. I reflect; feeling when moments were like a warm glow or when they were a biting cold, flashing back and forth between the past and the present. Each memory carries a weight: pain, neutrality, or euphoria. I revisit. I walk through my mind acknowledging past fleeting moments.”
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Thesis Photos: Coming Soon
Joshua Peterman | [email protected]
This series of collages was created throughout the beginning and rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plethora of "things" that happened in the months since February were filled with incredible strife, both globally and personally to the artist. These emotions ranged from extreme joy in new beginnings to grief and sorrow in death. These collages were created to work through a vast spectrum of personal emotion regarding these circumstances. Each piece of imagery and material was chosen based on the immediate feelings of the day they were created in an attempt to capture the emotions rushing through each moment. Often when things began to feel steady a new disruption would shift the routine desperately craved. Yet when all seemed to fall apart, there would always be a small hope for the next day; a hope that someday, everything would be okay.
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Emily Sheetz | [email protected]
Pax What does peace mean to you? What does peace feel like to you? A sigh of relief at the end of a long, hard day A burden being lifted off your shoulders The absence of conflict and tension Prayers answered after years of stress and anxiety The warm sun after months of darkness I began this work in June of 2019. Long before a pandemic would shut down our world, before everyday life would cease to exist. Heading in to my final year of college, I found myself overbooked, over committed and exhausted from everything I was trying to accomplish. I also found that many of my peers were in the same situation. All of us stressed, anxious, tired, weary. How had our everyday lives become so unbearable to take part in? Why did we constantly feel the need to do more than we could manage? We were all doing wonderful things—working hard to be our best—but too many wonderful things became mounds of expectations (self-inflicted and otherwise) that no human could ever live up to. I had lost my sense of peace. The sun is a wonderful thing. It rises once a day and sets once a day. It will never do any more or any less. The sun can’t set ninety nine times in one day. Pick one sunset. Watch the colors change and melt into the horizon. Tomorrow, it will rise and tomorrow it will set. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34
Emmy Short | [email protected]
Chairs trace the human body with arms, legs, and a torso. They have different personalities that draw us to them and impact how we exist in space. Some chairs offer support and facilitate focus, while others encourage playfulness and foster community. Over time, they develop intimate relationships with our bodies and yet are often taken for granted for the particular ways they impact our experience of everyday life.
This series uses the concept of a chair to explore my relationships with six college friends. Each chair is a sculptural portrait that repurposes pieces of broken chairs and other found objects to create seating environments reflecting my relationships with them. Viewers are invited to engage not only visually, but also physically and perhaps encounter glimpses into the unique personalities of my chair-friends.
Emmy Short Thesis Photos (PDF)
Kaitlyn Wulf | [email protected]
This piece is a manifestation of the fragmented nature of our lives- of memory, of the self, and of our relationships. It is a meditation on the selectiveness of our memories and experiences, on what we choose to share and what we choose to keep hidden. The simultaneous connection and disconnection in our personal and social lives creates a stage on which we present our obscured selves and interact with obscured versions of others. In dark images and harsh reflections that shut out intimacy, the selective presentations of ourselves are set up as monuments, but in disorienting isolation.
Medium: Glass, photo on acetate, film, concrete, sand.