TRCC Library’s Diversity 365 Gallery
The Donald R. Welter Library at Three Rivers Community College is proud to present “Exhibition #1” in the new Diversity 365 Gallery. “Exhibition 1” features two-dimensional work from twelve faculty members representing eight colleges in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system. All work explores the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This first Diversity 365 exhibition will run through April 12, 2022 and can be viewed in person in the Library, Monday – Thursdays, 8:30 am – 8:00 pm, and Fridays, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. It can also be seen online below.
Library Director Pam Williams said, “I am thrilled to see this space come to life with these beautiful, interesting, thoughtful works celebrating diversity in so many different forms. I am also deeply grateful to everyone that took the time to answer our call to share such exciting and inspired art with our community.”
Nina Buxenbaum, a faculty member in the art department at Western Connecticut State University, had two of her large canvases selected for the show, “Cousins” and “Good Hair.” Buxenbaum explains her concept in her artist’s statement: “As a woman of mixed heritage, I use the ‘Topsy-Turvy doll’ as a metaphor for the way we learn to define ourselves as women in a society that is increasingly diverse and complex and where we are redefining our roles. The doll, whose name is derived from the character of Topsy in the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is designed to look like a southern belle on one side, but her dress conceals a black girl underneath. Through the flip doll, I explore my personal expression of self, as a biracial-woman, and play with the metamorphosis of identity. I am also interested in the ability of this subject matter to address femininity as it relates to cultural constructs including class, race, and sexuality.”
Thuan Vu, a professor of art at Southern Connecticut State University, had three of his paintings selected for the show. All three canvases explore Kintsugi, a concept from Japanese philosophy which is sometimes employed in the repair of broken pottery and lacquerware. Vu has used the Kintsugi concept to frame trauma, both personal and social.
Kintsugi practitioners bind broken pieces of pottery together using gold. In his artist’s statement, Vu explains, “With these gold fault-lines proudly displayed, the intention of the craftsman is clear: that in this new state, this form is better and more beautiful for having experienced brokenness and gone through the process of healing and rebuilding.” In his Kintsugi series, Vu has explored this idea in his canvases. He explains, “…we all suffer through a world divided: one where our governments, our borders, and our social fabric are all in a state of upheaval. How, then, do we heal ourselves and find a center in which to situate our being?” Vu continues, “In many ways, my paintings look to recreate and piece together a reality that is based on grace, generosity, and beauty.”
Other pieces selected for the show include a relief sculpture entitled “Evolving Shapes of Hope,” by Daryl Simmons, a faculty member in the Mathematics and Science Department at Three Rivers Community College. Simmons is one of several faculty members coming from a discipline outside of the visual arts whose work was selected for the exhibition. All work in the show was selected anonymously by a reviewing committee.
Exhibition #2” is scheduled for the Fall 2022 semester and will feature art from the staff and students in the CSCU/UConn systems. At the close of the series of exhibitions, the selection committee will choose art from the body of exhibited work to be purchased for the Library Gallery’s permanent collection. The purchase of the collection will be funded by the Three Rivers College Foundation. There will be additional exhibitions drawing from the public, and the final permanent collection will include work in a variety of media from the faculty, staff, and students from CSCU, as well as the public. Learn more about the upcoming shows and selection process at www.threerivers.edu/diversity365.
The Diversity 365 Gallery is open during the regular hours of the Donald R. Welter Library at Three Rivers Community College, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am – 8:00 pm and Friday, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.
Questions? Please email Laura Vasselle, Reference & Instruction Librarian.