Political landscapes fill walls at Art After Hours

Maydeen Merino 
Staff Writer

The Pomona College Museum of Art provided a chance to view the scenes behind the “Stories: Selections from the Permanent Collection” exhibit, led by junior Pomona College student and co-curator Daphnide McDermet.

A small group of about 10 people gathered together to enjoy art, music and food at the weekly Art After Hours event Feb. 21. 

McDermet did most of the curating by researching, collecting and organizing all of the art, while being mentored by senior curator Rebecca McGrew. 

“A few things ended up happening when choosing what pieces to use, there are pieces that have been featured in previous exhibits, such as the ‘Artist Project Series,’ which had work done by Andrea Bowers,” McDermet said. 

One piece of Bowers’ art work is presented in the current exhibition. Bowers’ work contains three people at the bottom right corner of a blank white paper, with each person holding a sign that says things such as “End Sexual Violence” and “Why?”

“I tried finding a balance that included pieces that are interesting, that work together and then creating a coherent theme out of them,” McDermet said.

The gallery contained artwork of landscapes from other artists, but not the conventional type. These art pieces included political statements and ideologies.

“If you look in the dictionary, landscape is both a definite obvious landscape, but landscape can also be a political landscape, not a physical landscape, and that’s the idea I wanted to run with,” McDermet said. 

McDermet and her co-curator worked all summer to create this artistic environment and support the theme of political landscapes.

“As a viewer, you just walk in and see the art, but there is actually months and months of work put into it,” Pomona College sophomore neuroscience major Justé Marija Simanauskaité said.

The event shifted in mood as they introduced live music from students on the Pomona College campus, such as a sophomore political science major Michaela Shelton. 

Shelton was born in New York City and has been singing since she was 4 years old. 

She began songwriting in high school and has now created her own EP titled “Naturally Me.” 

Shelton sang a couple of covers such as “Shea Butter Baby,” by Ari Lennox and J.Cole as well as songs from her EP “Naturally Me” expressing her self-love and her African heritage. 

“Art After Hours is a great way to engage the student body and support local student artists,” Shelton said. 

The gallery tries to provide various ways in which students can be involved in the arts. 

“Art isn’t just something to see, it is a movement, a symbol, a marker of something significant of what this college values, what our society values, whether its critical thinking, collective ideologies, creativity, it provides voices to those who may not have one,” museum coordinator Justine Bae said.

Art After Hours happens every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the art museum on the campus of Pomona College. 

“We as a museum and collaborator on this liberal arts campus develop programming and exhibits that really encourage critical thinking through the visual arts and creative responses because we do a lot of things that engage the audience that collaborate with other departments,” Bae said. 

For more information about other Art After Hours events, visit pomona.edu/museum.

Maydeen Merino can be reached at maydeen.merino@laverne.edu.

Maydeen Merino

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