“Identity Play,” curated by Professor and CFA Associate Dean Kristen Kovak, brings together eight local and national artists who explore the role of whimsy in the earnest search of self. The exhibition is on view June 22 through August 19. An opening reception will be held in conjunction with the summer Gallery Crawl on July 6 from 5:30-10:00pm, and a walkthrough with the curator will be held on August 4, 2018.
The exhibition features the works of Professor Imin Yeh and Adjunct Professors Scott Andrew and John Peña, along with Bibiana Suárez, Atom Atkinson, Patty Carroll, Zoë Charlton, and Rick Delaney. These artists create games, play house, build models, and play dress-up, cleverly applying complex commentary to innocuous forms. “The artists in this exhibition use the strategies of childhood to explore the complexities of adulthood,” says Kovak “They discover, shift, reveal, and redefine the parameters of identity, addressing the liminal space between innermost worlds and external self.”
Kovak initially conceived of an exhibition about the aesthetics of childhood. Yet, as the show developed, she noticed a pattern. “Many of the artists were using playfulness as a strategy to discuss deeper issues of personal and social identity,” says Kovak. “While on the surface play may appear frivolous, these artists demonstrate that it is an essential part of our cognitive and social development. By reframing the unprecedented as possible, we can imagine alternative circumstances without the pressures of reality.”