By Megan Loock
Elm Staff Writer
On Feb. 26, Director and Curator for the Kohl Gallery Tara Gladden announced via email that Washington College’s annual 100 Proof Art Exhibition would be open for new submissions until March 4 at midnight.
100 Proof is an annual exhibition showcasing artwork created by students from all departments.
“This year’s exhibit is open to all mediums and themes, and all Washington College students from all majors are encouraged to apply,” the application said.
Last year, 100 Proof was forced onto a virtual platform due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the artwork that was submitted for exhibition was meant to be viewed in-person.
The virtual exhibit will be offered through Artsteps, “a web-based environment that allows its members to create virtual art galleries in lifelike 3-D spaces. It is an application for artists, art organizations and art enthusiasts to model actual or virtual exhibitions by designing realistic 3-dimensional room complexes,” according to their website.
“I created an exhibit of the images that students submitted in their applications and placed the ones chosen by last year’s juror Kyle Hackett, in a 3-D virtual environment modeled after the actual Kohl Gallery,” Gladden said. “In the past, 100 Proof has taken place in Kohl Gallery and students could not simply submit digital images for exhibition, they had to submit material works that would be displayed in the gallery.”
According to the email application, this year’s exhibition will be accepting traditional artwork that will be installed in Kohl Gallery on campus — this includes two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and experimental work that qualify as in-gallery installations.
Kohl Gallery will also be accepting digital images that will be presented in a separate virtual exhibit. These items include “high quality photo documentation of all mediums and photography,” the email said.
“Due to some students being on campus and others being off campus, I took an all-inclusive multi-platform approach to this year’s 100 Proof,” Gladden said.
Kohl Gallery has always accepted digital artwork; however, in the past — according to Gladden — this medium has required that artwork to be printed in order to be displayed on the walls.
This year will be junior Elizabeth Tilley’s third time submitting work to the 100 Proof Art Exhibition.
“I usually do a lot of architectural design pieces,” she said. “I primarily do printmaking work now.”
Last spring, she exhibited a photograph of her wearing her new glasses. According to Tilley, the piece was named after herself and was primarily a self-exploration piece about her identity.
Tilley said there are benefits and drawbacks to both the in-person and virtual formats.
“In-person you get to experience the artwork better and virtually you experience the artist,” she said.
This year, Tilley submitted three pieces to be considered for the Exhibition and submitted to both the in-person and virtual gallery.
One of the three pieces she submitted is a photograph of an old farm building titled “213.” The building is located on Maryland State Highway 213, taken from the street perspective.
“To me it’s like seeing a certain way of life in America is being abandoned. I like to highlight how beautiful these houses are, but it’s also messed up in how we want to hold on to traditional American life,” Tilley said.
Tilley plans on bringing her artwork to the in-person gallery but will not actively participate for personal safety precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would love to have pieces back up in the gallery for people to see,” Tilley said.
In addition to the digital and physical submissions, Kohl Gallery also accepted performance videos and video art — this includes experimental video art, and all forms of live performance including but not limited to performance art, readings, as well as presentations of original music, poetry, theatre, and dance, according to the application email.
“In the future, I’d love to see 100 Proof include a performance event to showcase live, time-based works of student art,” Gladden said. “WC is a very interdisciplinary place, and I think this kind of cross-disciplinary overlap has the capacity to inspire collaboration across disciplinary boundaries. When this kind of incubation happens, it can lead to very exciting experiments and new forms.”
“In writing the call the way I did, I want to make it as inclusive as possible. Visual art exhibits are often accompanied by programming that includes other mediums,” she said.
Selected works will be exhibited in the Kohl Gallery March 31 through April 13. The juror this year is professional artist and curator John Mosher.
Mosher earned his MFA from the University of Cincinnati and his BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design. Recent works are inspired in part by scientific illustrations from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as experiential visual phenomena. His practice includes works on paper, video, and sound. He has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and is currently an Assistant Professor at Salisbury University where he teaches both 2-D and digital media, according to the email.
As of right now, students, faculty, and staff will be able to access the in-person gallery by appointment only. There will be strict policies that align with the College’s COVID-19 guidelines. To be admitted into the gallery, persons must show proof of having completed four green badges on the Emocha app.
You can access last year’s virtual gallery at https://www.artsteps.com/view/5e727f463a80dd2ac623e62b
For more questions about Kohl Gallery, email Tara Gladden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Photo caption: Students who are struggling to find something to do on-campus amid strict COVID-19 restrictions should consider visiting the Kohl Gallery for a look at student-created artwork. Photo by Ben Wang.