Student-Curated Art Show Explores Text and Texture

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The exhibit featuring work by a dozen artists will be on display through Jan. 7.

Colorful collages on cardboard and canvas
The exhibit features student artwork, including these pieces by Isabel Hillman ’23. (Photo by Katie Lenhart)

A colorful exhibit of student artwork tucked into the Black Family Visual Arts Center’s Nearburg Gallery will be on display through Jan. 7.

The show, “Text and Texture,” is the creation of student curators Jen Capriola ’23 and Leah Ryu ’22, who started planning last summer and met regularly during fall term.

Still, as first-time curators, there were surprises.

“Things came up that we never thought that we’d need to consider, like an installation process we had to figure out on the fly,” says Capriola, an English and anthropology major. “But it was really fun to pull it all together.”

Capriola and Ryu, both members of School House, are the 2022-2023 Class of 1960 Curatorial Fellows. Any undergraduate, regardless of major, can apply for the award, which enables the fellows to curate, coordinate, and oversee several exhibitions.

Ryu and Capriola created “Text and Texture,” their first of three exhibits, with guidance from their fellowship adviser Matt Siegle ’02, a lecturer in the Department of Studio Art,  and additional support from the Class of 1960. The show comprises paintings, prints, collage, and sculpture by a dozen artists who explore the intersections of language, form, and viewer experience.

Displaying the works close together, where they could interact with each other, generated a thought-provoking “meta piece,” says Capriola, who has taken several printmaking classes in the Studio Art Department. While each piece of artwork explored text and texture in its own way, “it was really cool to see that theme working through all of them at the same time.”

As curators, Capriola and Ryu aim to feature a diverse collection of work in their shows.

“Generally and historically speaking, exhibits and curation can be sort of a closed off and not very accessible thing for a lot of people,” says Ryu, a computer science and studio art major.

So, as with “Text and Texture,” they’ll encourage undergraduate and graduate students, art majors and nonmajors alike, to submit work for their upcoming exhibitions.

“Everybody can contribute in whatever capacity they want to,” says Ryu.

Aimee Minbiole