Middlesex County College To Host Art Exhibit On Gendered Visions And Caribbean Diaspora

EDISON — An art exhibition, “Disillusions: Gendered Visions of the Caribbean and its Diasporas,” will be held at the Middlesex County College Studio Theatre Gallery from Sept. 27 to Nov. 8. The gallery is open weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A reception for the artists, which is open to the public, will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 5-7 p.m. The program is in cooperation with Rutgers University.


“This exhibition brings together work of women artists from the Caribbean and its diasporas that addresses themes related to gender,” said Tatiana Flores, assistant professor of Art History and Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers, who is curating the exhibit. “It defines the Caribbean as an expansive space that is not limited by national borders or island geographies.”

Artists include: María Elena Alvarez (Venezuela), Nicole Awai (Trinidad), Firelei Báez (Dominican Republic), Holly Bynoe (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Melissa A. Calderón (U.S.A./Puerto Rico), Vladimir Cybil Charlier (Haiti), Asha Ganpat (U.S.A./Trinidad), Jessica Lagunas (Guatemala), Rejin Leys (U.S.A./Haiti), Sofía Maldonado (Puerto Rico), Ana Patricia Palacios (Colombia) and Sandra Stephens (Jamaica). Their work encompasses a variety of media: painting, video, performance, photography, and mixed media.

“Grouping work by women from Anglophone, Francophone, and Spanish-speaking backgrounds, it shows how common themes emerge from the experience of gender despite regional differences,” Professor Flores said. “The exhibition title ‘Disillusions’ refers to the tendency of the work in the exhibition to shatter illusions – whether pictorial or otherwise – by engaging in formal fragmentation, embracing discontinuity, and obfuscating meaning. These artists refuse to present a world that is whole or coherent; instead they acknowledge that contemporary experience is fragmented, subjective, and often incomprehensible.”

The program is sponsored by Middlesex County College and several offices at Rutgers University, including the Institute for Women and Art, the Institute for Research on Women, the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, the School of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Executive Dean, the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Center for Race and Ethnicity, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Office of Academic and Public Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities.

An e-catalog will be produced that will include essays by Flores and Michelle Stephens, Rutgers University associate professor of English and Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies, who is assisting Flores with the exhibit.

In addition, a full-day symposium is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14. A morning session with the artists will take place at the gallery from 10:30 a.m. to noon. An afternoon session that includes a presentation of scholarly papers will take place at Rutgers from 2-5 p.m. at 212 Murray Hall on the New Brunswick campus. This session of artists, curators and scholars includes Jerry Philogene, Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Sandra Stephens, Christopher Cozier and Nicole Awai.

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