CT Community College Artists Explore Diversity in Three Rivers “Exhibition 2”

The community is invited to “Exhibition 2,” a selection of works by artists from Connecticut’s community colleges exploring themes of diversity, equity and inclusion in Three Rivers Community College’s new Diversity 365 Gallery through Dec. 12. A closing reception will be held Dec. 13 from 6-8 p.m. to meet the artists.

A visual depiction of a song.


The exhibition features two-dimensional works in a variety of media by staff and a student from Gateway, Housatonic, Manchester, Naugatuck Valley, Three Rivers and Tunxis Community Colleges.

Included in “Exhibition 2” are reduction relief prints by Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Madeeha Sheikh, created through a complex process in which sections of printing block are carved away before each new color is layered over the others. Sheikh used this process to create a five-color nonrepresentational self-portrait, “In My Room,” and her wedding image, “Shaad.” Her artist statement explains that her work explores LGBTQ+ South Asian Muslim personhood and how her self-portrait “relates to the way each person can be perceived by others as many different people, and the boundaries that exist between these identities.”

Patrick Keller, a staff member at both Three Rivers and Quinebaug Valley Community Colleges, digitally created “Colors” by visually

Sheikh’s nonrepresentational self-portrait reduction print “In My Room.”

interpreting a section from the Black Pumas’ song by the same name. Each colored rectangle represents a single musical note on the scale. The vertical length of a colored rectangle corresponds to the note’s frequency, while wider rectangles correspond to longer notes in the passage. Added to this visual interpretation, Keller repeats the pattern four times, filtering the assigned colors to represent four differences in color vision as defined by the ophthalmologic terms: trichromacy, or normal color vision; deuteranopia, a reduced sensitivity to greens; tritanopia, an inability to distinguish blues from greens; and achromatopsia, a condition which causes the color spectrum to be perceived in tones of white, gray and black. “Thinking about diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s important to remember that we don’t all see the same way,” Keller wrote. “There is beauty in exploring these differences, and in recognizing that we are all much more than meets the eye. The song ‘Colors’ itself is an ode to how the diversity in the world around us is a source of joy.”.

In addition to the work of Sheikh and Keller, “Exhibition 2” includes pieces from the following artists: Elisa Eaton, Manchester Community College; Elizabeth Efenecy, Gateway Community College; David C. Jackson, Tunxis Community College; Kristin Lund, Housatonic Community College; and Ashley Thompson, Three Rivers Community College.

The Diversity 365 Gallery is located in the Three Rivers Donald R. Welter Library and is open Monday – Thursdays, 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m., and Fridays, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. when the college is open. Pieces can also be viewed in a virtual gallery available at www.threerivers.edu/diversity365.

Exhibition #3” is scheduled for the spring 2023 semester and will be an open call to artists from the CSCU community as well as to residents of Connecticut. Announcements on submission deadlines and procedures will be posted to the Diversity 365 Gallery’s webpage in December 2022.

The college is in the process of creating a permanent collection for the Diversity 365 Gallery. The selection committee will choose art for the permanent collection from exhibits one through three in spring 2023 semester.  The college’s purchase of the permanent collection will be funded by Three Rivers College Foundation.

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