Nathan Howard ’25
From Sept. 12 to Oct. 22,, The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross displayed a special exhibition titled “Afterimage: Visual Arts Faculty 2022.” This exhibition is particularly unique as it was the first exhibition since the Cantor Art Gallery moved to the newly built Prior Center for Performing Arts. The opening celebration for this exhibition on Sept. 14 was also one of the first events in the Prior Center. There will be an official dedication celebration for the opening of the Prior Center sometime in December. “Afterimage: Visual Arts Faculty 2022” showcased unique works by various Holy Cross faculty members from the Visual Arts department, including: Michael Beatty, Rachelle Beaudoin, John Carney, Hilary Doyle, Colleen Fitzgerald, Matthew Gamber, Cristi Rinklin, Leslie Schomp, Susan Schmidt and Victor Pacheco.
The Cantor Art Gallery provided the following statement to explain the importance of faculty exhibitions: “A tradition at the Cantor, faculty exhibitions highlight recent work by the visual arts faculty, who work in media across photography, drawing, painting, digital media, sculpture, printmaking, textile arts and artists’ books. The exhibition affords the College and wider communities an opportunity to engage with the work of these artists, whose developed practices explore themes deeply connected to the study of the liberal arts.”
Visual Arts Department Chair Cristi Rinklin showcased multiple landscape paintings at the exhibition. When discussing her various works, Professor Rinklin stated that, “While there is lush beauty here, there is also a conspicuous human absence in these uninhabited, detached fragments that float in ambiguous, abstract spaces. Much in the way that memories exist in fragments with gaping voids of lost information, these landscapes hover in a state of dreamy and melancholy suspension, as if these apparitions are all that is left of a world that no longer exists.”
Additionally, Professor of Practice Rachelle Beaudoin showcased a series of satirical videos that contained underlying themes relating to feminist identity. When discussing her specific works, the Cantor Art Gallery explains that “Beaudoin exposes the vulnerability of women and the invisible burdens they carry” throughout her art. In this exhibition, Professor Beaudoin displayed a satirical video parodying Martha Rosler’s 1975 feminist performance piece “Semiotics of the Kitchen.” Professor Beaudoin’s parody provided a similar message to the original, however, with more updated representations.
There were also a number of sculptures by Professor Michael Beatty and Professor Leslie Schomp as well as other unique works by Holy Cross faculty members. In addition to faculty work, the Cantor Art Gallery commissioned Justine Hill ’08 to create a large-scale painting specifically for the Cantor window. The Cantor Window Commission is a new initiative at the Cantor Art Gallery for artists to annually create a work for this specific location. Hill created The Travelers for this specific initiative. The Travelers is extremely large as it covers an entire wall at the gallery. The work is made from cut canvas panels and covered with layers of paint, paper, colored pencil, and crayon. The work utilizes bright colors as well as repeating floral and geometric patterns. The cut canvas panels towards the bottom of the work appear to make the shape of human or animal legs and the cut canvas panels towards the top of the work appear to make the shape of a moon, possibly forming the symbol of a night sky. According to the Hill, the different symbols throughout her work are “both entire worlds and individuals, or perhaps entire worlds built by individuals all dressed up in beautiful decorative patterns.”
Photo by College of the Holy Cross