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Student artists represent “Material Conditions: Gender, Sexuality, and Capitalism”

By Maddie Ticknor /// Arts Editor

The 2015 Gender Studies Symposium opened its art gallery in Stamm on Tuesday, March 11. The exhibit reflects the greater topics of the symposium, “Material Conditions: Gender, Sexuality, and Capitalism,” while also delving into the many problematic interpretations presented by the word “gender.” The exhibit reflects the interplay between gender, sexuality and capitalism.

The artists included in the exhibit examine how consumerism, media, and societal identity play into what it means to have an individual sexual and gender identity. The exhibit includes various mediums including video, sculpture and photo. Curated by Kelsey Gray (‘15) and Clio Wilde (‘15), the exhibit engages “Ideas illuminated by this year’s speakers and panels.” *

Highlights of the gallery include artist Julia Barbee’s use of scent to question the concept of gendered fragrances. Barbee graduated from California State University in 2011 with an MFA in fiber art. She currently resides in Portland. Through the names of her fragrances, she examines how the name of a scent can change how the public perceives a scent to be gender specific. A sculpture piece by Abby Freed (‘17) explores how one’s geographic location can define sexuality through gendered expectations and stereotypes. A giant pink stuffed animal named “Barry,” created by Kat Jarvinen examines the role of childrens toys in “the formation of gender identities, gender fluidity and notions of childhood sexuality.”* The piece is inspired by a favorite childhood toy that Jarvinen grew up with.

The exhibit includes these and many other thought provoking pieces by student artists. It will run throughout the entirety of the symposium, concluding on the evening of Friday, March 13. Stop by Stamm in Templeton to get a glimpse of how students embody and transcend traditional gender roles and sexuality through creative expression.

*Quotes from the exhibit program

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