Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:20

Skidmore Student Collaborates with Beekman Art District to Create Interactive Art Exhibit, Opportunity for Community Collage

By Chelsea DiSchiano | Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — For Skidmore anthropology senior Marielle Briant, art isn’t just about the art itself—it’s about the individuals who create the art. 

This idea is the basis of her senior capstone anthropology project, “Art Beyond the Gallery,” an interactive art exhibit that will take place April 21 from 2–5 p.m. at the Feneex Gallery at 30 Beekman Street. The project is especially aimed at those who don’t normally attend art exhibits, as a way to better understand the art community. 

Briant’s exhibit will feature the work of three local artists: Christopher Brown, who creates art through film and video, Rivkah Gevinson, a photographer, and Francelise Dawkins, a textile artist. 

Not only will the artists be exhibiting their work, but Briant said they will also come together for an introspective look to answer some questions that aren’t commonly addressed in the art community, such as: What is the purpose of a gallery? Where and how is meaning in art created? Is there a public significance in art? How can we as community members be more attuned to the artistic process?  

“The event is really inviting the community to engage in the artistic process and see how we come together and create meaning through art,” Briant explained. “A lot of people see art as something that is kind of inaccessible and almost irrelevant, so this is a way to kind of bring people in.” 

Attendees of the event are also invited to participate in a collaborative community collage project, led by artist Francelise Dawkins. 

“Francelise is actually a collage teacher so she will facilitate it and be there to guide people,” Briant said. “But I think we’ll have two different things people can participate in—we’ll have one big sheet of paper that people can contribute to, or we can have individual stations where people are working together but they’re doing it on their own sheet of paper, because some people prefer to work that way.” 

Briant added that there will be plenty of materials provided for those who want to add to the collage, including fabric, ironing boards, glue, scissors, textiles and tissues so people can go and choose the different materials they want.

“We don’t want anyone to be restricted in choosing their materials,” Briant said.

Briant said this project is important to her because it helps to get people who don’t normally associate with art to connect to it in a new way. 

“I think about the people in my life who really haven’t been in connection with the art world outside—like my housemate, who is a physics major and never does this kind of thing,” Briant said. “So it’s important to me to get those people who have these assumptions about art and challenge them and get them to see it, and the only way to do that is for them to do it themselves and also for them to relate more to the process and the people behind the process, so anthropologically that’s the reasoning behind [the exhibit].”

The event will begin Sunday, April 21 with a reception from 2–3 p.m., followed by a talk and presentation by Marielle at 3:30 p.m., which will then be followed by the collaborative collage project. For more details on the event, contact Marielle Briant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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