Custodians of archives wield great power and responsibility in considering who might be left out, disempowered or silenced in the creation of a specific narrative by those who use their records. Addenda centers interpretation and augmentation of past and present through the archive in an effort to construct a fuller future.
Adams, Johnson, and Kelliher-Combs draw on history, cultural traditions, and archives, along with a strong belief in seeking alternative narratives, to create artworks that exist as a record of unconsidered perspectives and often unrecognized pasts.
For this exhibition, these artists were asked to create artwork in response to a collection of archival materials held in the college archives, which details the life of missionary and the first general agent of education for the territory of Alaska, Sheldon Jackson (Union College Class of 1855). The resulting artworks are featured in the Mandeville Gallery alongside additional pieces by the three artists. These works all pose questions about the purpose of archives and how the artists’ active additions to these collections can illuminate the people often silenced by what has been recorded in the past.
The Mandeville Gallery is located on the second floor of the Nott Memorial, and is open daily from 10 am - 6 pm. All visitors to campus must wear surgical/ N95/ KN95/ KF94 masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit our website, http://muse.union.edu/mandeville/
Image: Merritt Johnson, When the world turned upside down long enough for Water to move and catch fire and wipe out the ink lines that divide, claim, kill and bury, 2021, oil and alkyd on panel, 36 x 48 inches, Courtesy of Accola Griefen Fine Art, New York City and the artist, © Merritt Johnson
Image: Gina Adams, Honoring Modern Manifest Destiny.1, 2021, oil and encaustic on ceramic porcelain, 9 inches (diam.), made at ICRC Artist-In-Residence, Courtesy of Accola Griefen Fine Art, New York City and the artist, photography by Aaron Paden, © Gina Adams
Image: Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Small Secrets, Sheldon Jackson, 2021, printed cotton fabric, nylon thread, glass beads, human hair, dimensions variable, Courtesy of Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY and the artist, © Sonya Kelliher-Combs