As part of the Fine Arts Center fall virtual offerings, Hampden Gallery releases two new digital exhibitions, to be on view Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Wednesday, Nov. 11 at fineartscenter.com.
Procheta Mukherjee Olson: While You Were Away
“While You Were Away” is an installation that examines the dynamic relationship between the familiar and the unfamiliar within cross-cultural exchanges. This work is a culmination of a month-long collaborative exercise between the Olson and an American friend who was living in the artist’s hometown in India at the time of the project. Every day for that month, Olson and her friend recorded their initial experiences of the place that they had just moved to. These impressions are inscribed on objects that are peculiar to this new place, something they had not seen in their country of origin. By conjuring up the surprise they felt while navigating what is now a familiar cultural terrain, they deconstruct and examine the process of their assimilation. In this manner, they hope to create a consciousness of similarity and difference while also showing how personal narratives act as gateways into the larger collective. The exhibition can be viewed at fineartscenter.com/ProchetaOlson.
Procheta Mukherjee Olson earned a B.A. in English literature from Calcutta University in India, followed by a post-baccalaureate in studio arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and an MFA in studio arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Working primarily in painting, she draws heavily from Persian and Mughal miniature painting to address issues of cultural exchange, hybridity and globalization. She was a 2015-16 Curatorial Fellow at the University Museum of Contemporary Art and a Graduate Fellow in the Institute of Curatorial Practice at Hampshire College. Additionally, she has organized and curated exhibitions extensively in the capacity of interim director at the Herter Art Gallery. Her work has been exhibited at the Emily Dickinson Museum, A3 Gallery, Kelley Stelling Contemporary, Gallery 263, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Weaver’s Studio Calcutta, among other venues between the United States and India.
Kenny Harris: Imagimenagerie
Originally slated for Hampden Gallery’s Incubator Project Space, Harris’ solo exhibition, “Imagimenagerie,” has been reimagined as an online exhibition due to COVID-19 restrictions. In the exhibition, Harris explores mythology with his whimsical, graphic, and figurative forms. He states, “I remove myths from their cultural contexts, stylistically uniting them through similar form, line, material, and composition…. Each figure presented in the space represents a different mythological figure, presenting the diversity and ingenuity of human imagination through overwhelming numbers.”
On Friday, Oct. 16, at noon E.T., Harris will offer a free virtual artist talk, registration available at fineartscenter.com/KennyHarris.
Harris was born in Syracuse, N.Y. and attended Jamesville-Dewitt High School. He earned his BFA in painting and BS in psychology from SUNY Brockport in Brockport, N.Y. while organizing a small non-profit community theatre organization. He went on to earn his MFA in studio art from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Penn., with a thesis focusing on mythology and its role in contemporary art, as well as its role in contemporary media. Harris currently works as an associate lecturer at Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, N.Y., and serves as an administrator and exhibit committee member at Chittenango Landing in Chittenango, N.Y.