/Student pop-up show: Identity

Student pop-up show: Identity

Updated on 11/18/21 at 2:17 p.m. correction was made to show that Anna Grace Askelson was a junior, not senior. Also added Isabella Ziglar as a featured artist.

By Nethan Crew 

Identity was a student pop up art show held in The Gallery in Bloch Hall from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4. Curated by Anna Grace Askelson with advising from faculty member Ryan Foster, the show features art from Askelson as well as Megan Boddie, Elle Brown, Ethan Cole, Deidre Darby, Valerie Flynn, Haley-Joyce Oliver, Grace Varner, Kelsi Wilson and Isabella Ziglar. The show utilizes many aspects of the human condition, such as gender, sexuality, grief and isolation, to allow for all of the artists to show their identities. 

The art show consists of painting, sculpture and photography as well as other art mediums. One of the pieces in the gallery is a collection of photographs from Elle Brown entitled “There are Things I Cannot Say.” Featuring photographs from their childhood, Brown placed certain insecurities and confessions on the photographs, often along with certain individuals being painted over. Some of these confessions include “Your homophobia shaped me more than I’d like to admit” and “I miss who I was before. Sometimes I wonder if she is still buried in me. Sometimes I’d rather not know.”  

The gallery was a deep introspection into the personal lives of the artists. One person at the show’s reception said “This one hits to the core. This one’s a little painful. It says that there’s a lot more that you can talk about, where your heart kinda resonates with your own pattern.” 

Another piece of the show is “Permanence” by Ethan Cole. This piece is a memorial altar of Cole’s sister, SarahBeth, who took her own life at the age of 30. The piece is a collage of different items that SarahBeth left behind which includes textual elements such as to-do lists, Christmas cards, and a diary labeled “CONFIDENTIAL,” as well as a spiral notebook full of poems and an incomplete outline of a novel. This piece allows for a visual representation of who SarahBeth was to be seen through her art, photographs, writings and  

One piece of the show, “Fayetteville, AL,” shows many graphite and water-colored images of Megan Boddie’s hometown of the same name. It shows many images of different buildings such as Fayetteville High School, a church and a general store. The work was described by Boddie as “an ongoing introspective conversation about how the culture you’re raised in along with the people you are surrounded by influences identification of self”.  

Askelson, the student who curated the show, is a junior art major. Askelson described the aim of her gallery, saying, “I don’t think that simply putting yourself into a little box is necessarily as insightful as looking at what forms your identity, and I wanted to get a diverse group of people to talk about how they have become who they are and what the formative things have been.”  

Identity was an emotionally driven exhibit that identifies attributes of the lives of the artists. As one guest wrote in the sign-in book, “Every piece in this exhibition touch my core and reminded me of so many pieces of myself. You are all incredibly talented and I hope you keep in tune with yourself, including the beautiful parts you adore and the parts that are sometimes hard to love.”  

Identity allowed for students to express themselves in sculpture, painting and other visual arts to show what truly made them the individuals they are today.  

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Nethan Crew is the Assistant Podcast Producer for The Alabamian and Falcons On Air. He's a Psychology major and enjoys cooking, camping and listening to new music in his free time.