Reflections on race and mortalityGAMBIER, Ohio (August 29, 2003) Kenyon's Olin Art Gallery kicks off its year of stellar art exhibits with the drawings, paintings, and woodcuts of Thom Shaw. His works will be on display from Thursday, August 28, through Saturday, September 27. The artist will present a slide lecture for the exhibit, entitled "Inner Sanctums/Urban Sanctities," on Thursday, September 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Auditorium. The lecture will be followed by an opening reception in the gallery.
Shaw's exhibition will feature works from his self-portrait series and the "Malcolm X Paradox." The Cincinnati, Ohio, based artist's works are reflections on race and mortality.
The woodcuts in the Malcolm X series show raw and graphic depictions of the violence by which African-American men kill each other. The series is derived from the more than one hundred and fifty hours of interviews Shaw logged with gang members of various creeds, genders, and races.
A typical woodcut print of Shaw's measures forty-five by sixty inches. Some of his larger pieces can run up to fifteen feet in size. Shaw uses tempered masonite, compressed wood normally used on the exterior of a building, to carve his woodcuts.
While Shaw says that some people have interpreted the messages of his work as glamorizing gang violence, he's hopeful that his artistry will act as a vehicle for social change. Hours at the Olin Gallery are 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
One of the nation's leading liberal arts and sciences colleges and home to the Kenyon Review, Kenyon College offers 1,550 students a challenging educational experience enriched by a culture of friendship. Graduates of the college have included actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and Pulitzer-prize winning author E. L. Doctorow.