Gund Gallery Receives $200,000 Mellon Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Art Museum Futures Fund will help the Gund, housed on the Kenyon College campus, explore community engagement programming opportunities.

By David Hoyt ’14

A $200,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Art Museum Futures Fund will help the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College pursue increased community engagement and programming.

The focus of the grant will be to explore how an academic art museum can build bridges to serve the Knox County community beyond Kenyon’s campus. The Gund aims to foster dialogue, nurture mutual acceptance, and encourage collaborative relationships that forge more nuanced understandings of ongoing societal inequities, injustices and changes.

These objectives signal a new era as the Gund Gallery celebrates its 10th anniversary with the year-long exhibition “Call/Response” and embarks on its second decade with newly appointed Daisy Desrosiers at its helm. With support from varying creative collaborators and new partnerships, the Gallery’s objectives will be achieved by collaborating with local community organizations, creative collaborators and artists as well as Ohio-based residents on programming.

“As we think about museums in the 21st century, it’s important that we root ourselves not only in our four walls but that we embed ourselves deeply in the community that births us and that is adjacent to us,” said Desrosiers, who became the Gund’s director and chief curator in June 2021. “The Gund Gallery believes in the power of many voices to make the human experience better, and the arts is one of the most powerful demonstrations of that endeavor. We will continue to work with artists, students, faculty and our neighbors to promote diversity, inclusion and excellence within the arts both on campus and off. This support from the Mellon Foundation will be transformative as we embark on this adventure and develop a new framework for the future.” 

The Mellon Foundation has previously supported the Gund Gallery through a 2014 Artist Residencies Grant, which supported a three-year pilot project to invite different artists to Kenyon’s campus to work. This work included meeting and collaborating with classes and creating new artworks while at Kenyon. Artists engaged were Cheryl Pope (2015-16), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Fall 2016), Rania Matar (2016-17), and Ori Gersht (2017-18). 

More details about these new initiatives will be released as Gallery plans develop.