At Haverford, creative talent can be found in every department, from the arts to the sciences and everywhere in between. Recognizing an untapped body of student creativity, staff in Visual Culture, Arts, and Media (VCAM) and the exhibitions program set up an exhibit featuring student art selected from submissions made from across campus. All four class years are represented in 20/20 Vision, as are 15 different majors across disciplines.
“Having an exhibition of all student work selected through a campus-wide open call has been a dream of VCAM since its inception,” said Courtney Carter ’17, post-baccalaureate fellow for the Hurford Center, who helped organize it along with VCAM Operations Manager James Weissinger and Associate Director of Campus Exhibitions Matthew Callinan. “Organizing this show, especially in an open-call format, was meant to give students across the College that opportunity, and, therefore, to inspire community-building across the arts on campus.”
The themes of the art featured are as wide-ranging as the artists themselves, with projects variously exploring friendship, language, identity, technology, illusion, gender, gentrification, and more, in a variety of artistic styles and across media. 20/20 Vision opened on February 6 in suitably exciting fashion, with a live student DJ, snacks, drinks, and a crowd of students supporting their friends and peers.
“It seems that an exhibit like this, with the kind of opening it had, is valuable for the student body to see the creative work of their peers, be inspired to try something on their own, and recognize a larger community of people on campus who are actively making new things,” said Carter.
“This was truly an experience I am very grateful to Courtney and the other VCAM staff for extending, as I’ve never really been able to present artwork I’ve made in my own free time,” said Athena Intanate ’23, whose work was featured in the exhibit. “It just goes to show that art isn’t only for art students–art can come from anyone, and from anywhere.”
“I saw art from people who I had no idea even liked that sort of thing,” said Cameron Albrecht ’20.
VCAM has quickly grown in stature since its opening in 2017, and is proving to be popular with students for hosting events. Intanate was effusive in her praise of the venue, saying, “It is so versatile, and has so many different facilities within it that are perfect for accommodating all sorts of events.”
“We host many more exhibits and creative projects in VCAM Create Spaces during the academic year,” said Carter, who hopes this exhibit encourages more student art to be showcased. “These projects usually showcase a mix of student, faculty, course-related, and visiting artists’ projects. So if people enjoyed this exhibit and event, but don’t want to wait another year to see more cool stuff, I would recommend they check out the other projects, exhibits, and events happening in coordination with the VCAM Create Spaces.”
Photos by Arshiya Bhayana ’22 and Ashley Sisto ’20.