Keene State College’s Mason Library recently accepted “Gothic Mirrors in the Age of Electronica” on loan.
The painting, a large piece by artist Thaddeus Strode, sits on the wall near the library’s archives and the Cohen Center. Its bright colors stand out against the eggshell walls of the library, adding a splash of vibrance to the room.
John Stewart, the owner of the painting, said he liked the painting so much he bought it twice. After selling the painting years before, Stewart purchased it again in January of this year.
Strode said he regretted not owning the stylistically unique piece anymore, despite it being too large to display in his home.
“Strode’s work had that idea of conceptual intent, but with a graffiti artist’s sensibility of color and form,” Stewart said of the painting.
While Stewart said he does not try to understand the meanings of paintings like this, he said he does appreciate the talent needed to make one and the beauty that talent creates. “‘Beautiful’ is something powerful, that strikes you as ‘wow’,” said Stewart.
Celia Rabinowitz, the Dean of Mason Library, said she thinks it’s important to host pieces like this. Rabinowitz approved the painting’s placement in the library, citing the library’s greater role at the college.
“These are great ways for the library to play a role as a cultural and intellectual hub,” Rabinowitz said. “I like the idea of having things here that make people think a bit,” she added. Rabinowitz said she encourages people to see the painting for themselves.
“Everyone, who has been tested [for COVID-19] and can wander around on campus, should come in and take a look,” Rabinowitz said. “If people come by and have thoughts, I’d love to hear what people think.”
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