Election day is only a few weeks away and Keene State’s Carroll House Gallery opened its doors to a political take on the race to presidency, as well as other political topics in the United States on Oct. 27 through a student-orchestrated art exhibit titled “Vote Now!”
Jon Gitelson, advisor of the Art Collective, which is the group that put on the exhibition, worked with the students to help put together the art exhibit using a hands-off approach, allowing the students to do a lot of the work and installation of the pieces themselves. He described the collection as “a window into the political season and all its different parts.”
The Carroll House has been home to a number of art exhibits before, but this particular exhibit is a bit different. Gitelson said, “Most of the other exhibits I have put together here [at the Carroll House Gallery] have been outside professional artists.
So, for example, I will have a photographer from Boston do a big show and then there is maybe one room for students, but this is the first time that I have done a show here that is all student’s work.”
With the election coming up on Nov. 8, Gitelson said the great thing about the exhibition is that since it remains open through the election, it will be interesting to see how the feeling of the overall exhibition may change based on the candidate who wins.
Regarding the political influence on the pieces, featured artist and junior studio art major at Keene State Emily Mathieu said, “The Art Collective has meetings every Thursday, and at the first meeting we brainstormed ideas and decided to make this surround politics and the election.”
Mathieu said she has previously had her art exhibited in the Carroll House Gallery, but she has never put anything together to this scale. It was her first time being able to put together a full show, which allowed her to appreciate all the hard work other artists put into their pieces.
Another featured artist and senior art major at Keene State Hannah Soucy said she found the whole experience behind putting together the exhibition and collection to be very rewarding.
Her own inspiration for her pieces came from “the chaos and the confusion that comes with every election, by what people see as common knowledge and by the idea of never knowing who to vote for.”
Exhibition attendee Cory Davis said he has been to several of the art galleries before, but he enjoyed this specific collection because, “The exhibit is incredibly timely since there are two weeks to go until the election, and especially with all the protests and issues that have surrounded it.”
The “Vote Now!” exhibit is open to the public and can be found in the Carroll House. This particular collection is a one month exhibition and will remain available until Nov. 27.
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