By Richard Pryor III
On November 12, many members of the Sewanee community made their way out to the 2016 Gallery Walk hosted by the Art Department and the University Galleries, a celebration of visual art, music, and dance.
Attendees were treated to three distinct collections: Communal Spirit: 3,000 Years of Mexican Artistry at the University Archives and Special Collections, Anderson Wrangle’s “a hand’s width” at the Carlos Gallery in the Nabit Art Building, and Jessica Wohl’s Love Thy Neighbor at the University Art Gallery in Guerry Hall. While visiting these sites, all were treated to three distinct performances of music and dance, coordinated by Dr. Cesar Leal, assistant professor of music, and Courtney World, assistant professor of dance. Each selected offering fit with the exhibit, such as the performance at the Archives was based around Mexican music.
A highlight of the tour was Wohl’s Love Thy Neighbor, a collection of quilts and drawings. Quilts were highlighted with phrases such as “we shouldn’t have to live this way,” “good luck,” “shut up and listen,” and “it hurts more than you think.” Many poetry fans recognized the quotation used in the piece entitled Are We Becoming Hollow Men?, “This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends.” The quote is from noted British poet T.S. Eliot’s (of Cats fame) poem The Hollow Men. (For those wondering, the way the world ends is “not with a bang, but with a whimper.”)
Whol’s exhibit, according to her Artist Statement that is available at the Art Gallery, is her attempt to reconcile her internal and external conflicts. She chose quilts as her main medium, noting that “A quilt, by definition, is an object that harmoniously brings together disparate pieces into one inseparable, functional form.”
She noted that all the fabrics were purchased from thrift stores and yard sales, giving them a history before their current use. In her words, by creating the quilt, these pieces are now “Others that become one,” and maybe in this time, isn’t that what we need to learn? How others can become one? Wohl’s exhibit is still up and will be through January 27 of next year.