During the spring semester, Chicago-based artist and educator Cheryl Pope worked closely with two Kenyon social science professors during her Mellon Foundation-supported residency at the Gund Gallery. With Visiting Professor of Sociology David Skubby, Pope co-taught a unit of an introductory course entitled “Institutions and Inequalities.” Focusing on self-perception and identity – issues central to her own studio art practice – the class produced a unique data set made up of anonymous personal statements by Kenyon students. This interdisciplinary collaboration expanded to include Visiting Professor of Psychology Patrick Ewell’s “Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology” students, who created coding systems to analyze the data set and produced posters detailing their methods and results.
Twenty anonymous personal statements were selected by the artist and interested sociology students and translated into the championship banners installed in the Kenyon Athletic Center. Their question: How do these private personal thoughts resonate in your own perception of self? ‘Championing’ hidden anxieties, self-deceptions and stereotypes in a public art installation asks us to build community through increased empathy for each other and ourselves.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.