Sarah Jane: "Mere Objects"
November 3—December 15, 2017
Friday Friday Artist's reception, Dec. 1, 5-7 p.m.
Gallery Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
Sarah Jane brings attention to the serious issue of sexual violence with a poignant installation of suspended glass globes, each filled with evocative materials obtained from a victim. She invites participants to choose objects to represent themselves and their stories, and viewers to bear witness and share in her hope for healing and a safer world.
"Sexual violence is often taboo. In private, it bears a shroud of whispered rumors and family secrets. In public, the discourse circles round in endless statistics and worn stereotypes. But for those of us who have experienced it, the reality is far more painful, complex and all-consuming.
Sexual violence encompasses the child violated by a beloved grandparent; the teenager abused by a boyfriend; the faithful altar boy assaulted by his priest. It includes the wife whose husband won’t take no for an answer; the disabled person victimized by a caregiver; the young woman raped by a coworker.
These are no hypothetical situations; they are real stories from people in this project.
I reached out online and in person, inviting participants to choose objects to represent themselves and their stories. It is a concrete act of reclaiming agency and bearing witness to this important truth: that sexual violence may affect us deeply, but it can never define us.
The objects people choose are creative, evocative, and diverse. They include joy-filled items like brilliant gemstones, honeymoon sand, and tiny works of art; alongside deeply painful memories like clothing worn during an assault, and ashes from photographs of a rapist.
The objects are suspended in tiny round bottles and bathed in light, suggesting wholeness and transparency. And yet they are fragile; after all, these are not easy stories to tell, or to hear.
They are not easy, but telling and hearing opens up the possibility of healing. This is as true for individuals as it is for whole communities. I invite you to bear witness to these stories and symbols of people affected by sexual violence, and to share in our hope for healing and for a safer world to come."
"The world around me inspires both intense curiosity and profound reverence. My creative responses include site-specific and collaborative works as well as sculptural pieces and mosaics. I am particularly focused on creating art that speaks across cultural, religious, or economic differences.
In addition to my own studio practice, I’ve worked as a university professor, art program manager, and gallery coordinator. Two favorite projects from this past year include designing and executing a 75-piece ceramic mosaic with elementary students at Beaver Valley School, and founding the Mere Objects project.
Since 2012, I have lived and worked at the Grünewald Guild, an intentional community in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.
Sarah Jane, October 2017
MFA, 2008, University of Kentucky
BA, 2004, Asbury College (now University)"
The MAC Gallery
The MAC Gallery hosts a yearly series of high quality and thought provoking exhibitions of contemporary art by faculty, exceptional students, and invited professional guest artists from around the region. The carefully curated exhibitions and associated events enhance the instruction of the art department and work toward WVC’s mission to provide important cultural opportunities for the community.