Exhibits I curated and organized with the English Graduate Student Association at Northeastern University.
“The original experiences of memory are irretrievable; we can only ‘know’ them through memory remains– images, objects, texts, stories.” -Marita Sturken
In 2012, I curated and organized the Memory Remains exhibit, hosted at Northeastern University’s Gallery 360, featured artwork on the theme of memory. The exhibit was organized in conjunction with the English Graduate Student Association‘s (EGSA) sixth annual conference, Memory Remains. The exhibit, which was on view from March 30 to June 18, featured photography, paintings, and embroidered art. The exhibit featured the work of John Shorb, Bryan Ramey, Molly Segal, Kylie Alexander, Virginia Bryant-Hernandez, and Alexa Fay. We also held a film screening of three short films by photographer Joanne Leonard, animator Em Cooper, and biologist Katherine O’Brien. The EGSA conference and exhibit sought
“to explore the integral role that memory and its remains play in our daily lives — in public and private constructions of self and reality — as well as in individual and communal narratives. Memory is transitory, yet seemingly permanent; it occupies the borders of ontology, reaching into our sensory and bodily awareness. In short, we rely on our capacity to remember to draw conclusions about ourselves and others, and yet memory is, at its base, unreliable, biased, and transient.”
“Bruce Ployer, co-chair of the Gallery 360 Advisory Committee, noted the exhibit’s intellectual qualities.
“I hope it will engage [viewers] and cause them to think and ask questions,” he said. “Any great piece of art should cause discussion, maybe be a bit controversial.”
Equally important, Cook said, is encouraging interdisciplinary consideration of memory by combining the academically-based conference with the abstractness of the art exhibition.
“[The conference is] all about bringing academia, the art world, the public into a common conversation,” she said. “We wanted to do that at the graduate student level and then especially share it with the wider community.””
From The Huntington News
Raw Materials Exhibit and Conference
In 2011, I led the English Graduate Student Association to host an art exhibit for the first time at their annual conference. I proposed the idea after thinking about the interdisciplinary and multimedia nature of our scholarly work, and how our academic exploration could be engaged visually with an art exhibit relating to the conference’s theme. The 2011 conference theme was “Raw Materials,” which lent itself nicely to the mixed materials and tactile processes of the visual artwork we chose to display. I developed a call for artwork and solicited area artists to participate. We hosted a temporary two day exhibit in Northeastern’s Behrakis Hall during the duration of the conference. The exhibit featured paintings and mixed media sculptures by Ryan Alex, Adam Greeff, Amber Offir, photographs by Megan McCormick and a short film by Christina Hunt.
“Raw Material is that which can be found, extracted, altered, worked, manipulated, manufactured, produced, and consumed. It is the subject of human labor and the element out of which “things” are made. The quest for raw material continues to drive the exploration of both real and imaginary worlds. As scholars, it leads us to the archives, marketplaces, printers’ shops, cutting-room floors, and classrooms in which “materials” undergo processes of alteration, transformation, and manipulation—materials that could be understood as the productive elements of texts, subjects and selves, bodies, empires, and nations.”
These experiences were crucial in developing my commitment to public engagement. Bringing together the work of artists with the research of academic scholars produced interesting dialogues and new paths for inspiration. I continued to work with several of the exhibited artists and featured the work of Bryan Ramey and Ryan Alex in “Artist Profiles” on The Orris. I would love to continue to bring together artists, scholars, and the public at large in my future career and research.