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Examining Identity’ exhibit opens at SMC

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, September 3, 2003

The exhibition “i.d./a.d./2003” is currently being presented at Saint Mary’s Moreau Art Galleries, one of nine venues collaborating with the Michiana Museum Consortium in a project entitled “Examining Identity 2003.”

The project began in July and will end next spring; the Saint Mary’s exhibition started Aug. 29 and will continue until Sept. 26. The other eight venues involved in the project are Michiana area museums, galleries and academic institutions.

The number and variety of the institutions involved reflects the complexity of identity, said Marcia Rickard, Saint Mary’s interim associate dean of faculty and director of the Center for Academic Innovation.

“To add to that complexity, each of these institutions has a different constituency to address, from the university audience to the inner-city neighborhood,” she said.

The project is connected through coordinated programming, publicity and speakers, she said, “to encourage connections and awareness among all of the exhibitions for all constituencies.”

Each gallery, museum or academic institution involved in the Museum Consortium will present exhibitions, films, lectures and classes revolving around the common theme of identity.

An artist reception and opening for “i.d./a.d./2003” will be held at M.A.G. Sept. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Participating artists include Amy O’Neill, Greg Stadler, H. Hammond-Hagman, Jessica Bader, Kathryn Long and Kristin Powers-Nowlin. The art takes many forms, but each work deals with the idea of identity.

“[The exhibition] explores identity as a heterogeneous idea rather than a homogeneous entity,” said gallery director Krista Hoefle. Each piece should provoke questions and should allow contradiction, “for the viewer and the artist alike,” she said.

“Examining Identity” is not only the Consortium’s theme, but also Saint Mary’s academic theme for the upcoming year. Each year, faculty members decide on a theme for first-year students to explore in their classes. Each corresponding discipline then implements the theme.

The Department of Art at Saint Mary’s will continue the theme in a series of events throughout the semester.

An upcoming performance by the Guerilla Girls will follow the “i.d/a.d./2003” opening reception on September 19. The Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership (CWIL), in conjunction with M.A.G. and the art department, is sponsoring their visit as part of the identity series. The Guerilla Girls are a group of anonymous female artists, film makers, performers and writers who expose issues such as racism and sexism. Since 1985, they have toured throughout the United States, publically appearing in gorilla masks to hide their identities in their fight against discrimination. They use the names of deceased women artists as pseudonyms and performers are rumored to be famous.

M.A.G.’s last exhibition for the year will begin in November, giving first-year art students a chance to show their projects dealing with the academic theme. The fall schedule at Moreau Art Galleries provides a wide range of events open to the public.