Scholar Draws Upon Ancestry in Her Creative Works
Scholar of the Month
Associate Professor of Drawing and Painting
College of the Arts
Darice Polo is associate professor of drawing and painting and coordinator of the drawing program at the School of Art. She has exhibited her drawings and paintings in national exhibitions throughout the United States and beyond – at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey; the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco; the Ridderhof Martin Gallery in Fredericksburg, Va; the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Haven Arts Gallery in New York.
Through the use of photographic imagery, Polo combines traditional methods of drawing and painting with new media – film, video and digital technology. Based on black and white family photographs and film of her Puerto Rican ancestors in New York from the 1920s through the 1960s, her body of drawings and paintings began as an elegy to past lives and a formal meditation on the inherent nature of abstraction in photography.
Polo is currently producing a full-length documentary, “A Wise Latina Woman,” based on the statement made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during her nomination process: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
She will be using the legacy of Sotomayor to probe the role of women in Puerto Rican culture, and as a second-generation Puerto Rican raised in the same New York neighborhoods as Sotomayor, to confront her Latina identity. She received a Summer Research appointment from Kent State’s University Research Council and a faculty professional improvement leave to research and shoot footage for this work.
Polo earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and an MFA from the State University of New York at Albany. In 2010, she received the Nesnadny + Schwartz Visiting Critics Program Award at MOCA Cleveland. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art in Logan, Utah, the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, Md. and at Hahn Loeser law firm in Cleveland.
Her work can be viewed online as part of the Drawing Center’s Viewing Program Artist Registry in New York City.
About Kent State’s Scholar of the Month
Kent State’s Scholar of the Month recognizes faculty researchers and scholars whose recent work has had an important impact on their professional fields and has brought exposure and notoriety to the university. Each month, a different college will have the opportunity to nominate a researcher/scholar for this recognition. There is also a month when a Regional Campuses faculty member will be featured.
The selection process is in the hands of the dean and his or her colleagues and faculty. Hence, this is recognition by the person’s college colleagues that is then taken up by the university. The deans communicate the person’s name to the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs for recognition as Scholar of the Month.