The Fine Arts Library is proud to host artwork from three students artists this spring semester. Works by Mona Gazala, Lydia Smith, and Caryl Gonzalez will be on view from February 4 - April 17 and are free and open to the public.
Mona Gazala and Lydia Smith’s installations both focus on sites of indigenous artworks and sacred grounds in Ohio.
Gazala’s work, Symbolic Activities, explores the Hopewell geometric earthworks in Newark and Chillicothe from the perspective of displacement and colonization. Present in Gazala’s photographs is the desire to connect to her own Palestinian heritage through the earthworks sites and their disappearance with the arrival of colonizers and oppression of native Ohioans. Related to the preservation of these sites, which in some cases no longer contain mounds but instead hold space for their memory, Gazala writes, “I find these fluctuations between erasure and preservation fascinating. They speak of both violence and a sense of belated penance.”
In Memo for Research, Smith’s banners present abstracted maps of Columbus, with data points marking “sacred landmarks for community from past and present.” From the artist: “These banners stem from an ongoing inquiry into the role of power embedded within maps. Maps are crucial tools that organize the world and ground our perspective, but it is equally important to be critical of what they tell us. After all, they are a reflection of the social politics that surround us and define boundaries for our behavior.” These three maps hang at the back of the reading room for viewers to contemplate.
Caryl Gonzalez’s work, Otro Vejigante, examines the colonization of Puerto Rico and her own gender identity and familial heritage through striking portraits that present a Vejigante mask with contrasting Ohio landscapes that suggest the artist's own feelings of displacement. According to Gonzalez, the Vejigante, originally brought to the island of Puerto Rico by Spanish colonizers, has become a symbol of resistance and joy in Puerto Rican culture. Within her own work and practice, Gonzalez explores “...how we as womxn and the colonized have conformed, taken a stance against, and existed within the barriers of that which American culture has created.” Gonzalez’ photographs are located in Room 039L off the main reading room in the library.
Mona Gazala and Lydia Smith are MFA candidates in the Department of Art. Caryl Gonzalez is in pursuit of her BFA, also in the Department of Art.
The Fine Arts Library is located in the lower level of the Wexner Center for the Arts, at the end of the outdoor corridor, near Arps Hall. It is open Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. For more information, please email Courtney Hunt, Art & Design Librarian, firstname.lastname@example.org.