Ananya, a Growth and Structure of Cities and Fine Arts double major, enjoys the plentiful study areas on campus, but she wanted to see more creative spaces too.
“I didn’t like that Bryn Mawr fine arts majors, and student artists in general here, were not able to showcase their work at their home college since the final thesis showcase is over at Haverford,” she says. “There are so many talented people at this college, and they should be able to share their talent with their friends and peers.”
Ananya decided to take action: she contacted the curator for Arts and Artifacts Carrie Robbins and the Director of Museum Studies Monique Renee Scott. The three met, drafted a mission statement for the exhibition series, and the project was approved by spring break.
After reaching out to artists and collaborating with other students and curatorial staff, Ananya was ready to present the first ever exhibition on March 30.
“I remember being very stressed on opening night—almost in a subconscious way— but afterwards it felt amazing,” says Ananya. “There was a great crowd, and I was so proud of the artists, some of who had never before shown their work to others.”
Among these artists was fine arts major Chau Nguyen ’17 who displayed her photography project, Avant-Garde Instagram.
“I’m so glad I was able to be part of the exhibition series,” Chau says. “The idea to use Lusty Cup as a versatile, artistic space works out really well. And Bryn Mawr definitely needed more art, so this is great to have, especially for us fine arts majors.”
In addition to Ananya and Chau, other artists in the series include Cathy Zhang ‘20, Delia Landers ‘19, Abbi Gatewood ’19, and Cordelia Larsen ‘17. Their work, which exhibits everything from abstract watercolor paintings to a portrait with a stool as a canvas, will be on display through the end of the semester.
Not only did the opening feature visual art but students also recited live poetry on a range of subjects. Poets included Shreekari Tadepalli ‘18, Veronica Nocella ‘20, Sanam Sheriff ‘18, and Alexa Gjonca ’17.
Amanda Feinberg ’20 also performed two pieces, one of which was an extended metaphor connecting the moon to womanhood and one that was written from the perspective of a nude painting.
“It was so fun to share my poetry! I was surrounded by the amazing visual art of my peers, and the crowd was so nice and supportive,” says Amanda. “Most of all, it was great to see all the talented artists here at Bryn Mawr.”
Ananya has a similar response when asked about her favorite part of the event.
“The best part to me was that students were excited and inspired to share their own work and be confident about it,” she says. “There was this great energy, as corny as that sounds, where people were talking about the art and the poems and talking to each other. And I think that at Bryn Mawr, we talk a lot about opening conversations—opening up spaces—and it really seemed like that space in the Lusty Cup was something that Bryn Mawr needs in a way. For once, not a single person in the café was doing homework; it was all just conversation, a gathering and an event.”
Ananya has big plans for the already successful exhibition series. She intends to eventually establish themed exhibitions as well as create even more spaces on campus to display student artwork, such as the poolroom in the Campus Center.
“Wherever there are blank walls, there is potential,” says Ananya.
Students interested in showcasing their visual or performance-based art next quarter as part of the Lusty Cup Exhibition Series should contact Ananya directly at email@example.com.