‘Faces of Sewanee’ Open Through May 2020

Arts & Entertainment

The Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies and the duPont Library at University of the South are pleased to present “Faces of Sewanee,” a group exhibition of portraits by student artists from the Topics in Contemporary Painting class, under the guidance of Professor Jessica Wohl. 

Featuring the work of students in ART 291: Topics in Contemporary Painting, “Faces of Sewanee” will open on Tuesday, Oct. 29, with a reception at 5 p.m. in the Torian Room of the Jessie Ball duPont Library. 

“Faces of Sewanee” gives Sewanee students a chance to actively engage in the conversation about representation on campus, particularly with regards to tradition, history, legacy and story-telling as understood through portraiture. In considering who they want to represent on the walls of the institution, students selected 18 individuals from a wide variety of social identity groups to celebrate through the painted portrait. 

The paintings, which are displayed near eye-level in the student learning commons, compliment the portraits of the institution’s Vice Chancellors that currently hang in that space. By displaying these works alongside those of the Vice Chancellors, students, faculty, staff and alumni will be equitably represented, through the painted image, as significant contributors to our campus community. 

“This exhibit allows members of our community, some for the first time, to see themselves, or someone like them, on the walls of our institution. The project is part of an important conversation institutions are having nationwide regarding who has been worthy of reverie and representation in the past, and who is worthy of representation in the present and the future. In this exhibition, the portraits celebrate all of us,” Wohl said. 

At the opening of the exhibition, Wohl will address the origins of the project and outline how this exhibition correlates to broader contexts and conversations about culture and representation in our country. Following this introduction, the student artists will briefly present on each of the portraits they painted, outlining their own stories, those of their subject and the inspiration for the people they choose to portray. For more information, contact Wohl at <jewohl@sewanee.edu>.