'Constructed Answer' Exhibition Focuses on Artists’ Responses to Tragedy

Commemorating 50 Years After the May 4 Shootings at Kent State University

Kent State University’s School of Art Collection and Galleries present “Constructed Answer,” a contemporary metals exhibition inspired by tragedy, trauma and violence that celebrates the resiliency of a human spirit.

Sculptural metal, wearable and enameled artworks will be on display created by nationally recognized artists, including late Kent State professor, Mel Someroski. Subject matter ranges from war, school shootings, mourning, meditation, rituals and human perseverance.

The response of the world to the deaths of four students at Kent State on May 4, 1970, at the hands of the National Guard of the United States was intense and deeply felt. Visual artists used the occasion to create works that honored the victims and, in some cases, criticized the situation that caused their deaths.In one special case, a group of students from the Philadelphia College of Art (now called The University of the Arts) made a Commemorative Medallion to honor the victims. Julia Claus, one of the students who helped create the medallion, traveled to Kent, Ohio, on June 7, 1970, and presented the piece to Kent State President Robert I. White.

Constructed Answer was co-curated by Anderson Turner, director of the School of Art Collection and Galleries and Andrew Kuebeck, assistant professor and area head of the Jewelry/Metals/Enameling program.

The exhibition runs from January 24-February 28, 2020, at the Center for the Visual Arts, CVA Gallery (1st Floor) 325 Terrace Drive, Kent, Ohio. An opening reception will be hosted January 24, from 5-7 p.m. Both the reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

Two artist talks, given by artists in the exhibition, are scheduled in February. The talks are free and open to the public and include:

  • Renée Zettle-Sterling, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m., Center for the Visual Arts, Room 165
  • Holland Houdek, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m., Center for the Visual Arts, Room 140

Students in Olaf Skoogfor’s jewelry class who designed and created the Commemorative Medallion were: Susan Cabnet, Julia Claus, Christopher Darway, Jacqueline Ott, and Diane Marie Rosetti. Students in Dan Jackson’s woodworking class, Jonathan Bonner and Johnny Jackson, designed and carved a box for the medallion out of hickory.

Many artists sent the work they created in response to the event to the School of Art Collection at Kent State to show support for the people immediately effected. Some of the notable artists who made and donated work in honor of the for Kent State students who lost their lives were: Richard Hamilton, Ruth Gikow, Chuck Close and Nathan Oliveira.

The exhibition features work from Boris Bally, Taehyun Bang, Marilyn DaSilva, Holland Houdek, Keith Lewis, Michael Nashef, Marissa Saneholtz, Stephen Saracino, Mel Someroski and Renée Zettle-Sterling.

Additional details about the event and exhibition can be found at www.kent.edu/galleries/event/constructed-answer.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 11:49am
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 11:10am