WASHINGTON, PA (March 12, 2018)—There’s a power in the things we see, and a work of art can spark a conversation on topics of global importance.
That’s the idea behind Visual Voices: Truth Narratives, this year’s National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) exhibition for which Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) Professor of Art Pat Maloney was chosen to show her work.
“This is an extraordinary gallery because it merges community issues with art,” Maloney said.
When Maloney learned the theme of the show, she thought of her piece entitled “Bring Back Our Girls,” from her show “A Child’s Story,” which she exhibited at W&J in 2015. The work features a little girl’s dress made from clay, torn and twisted, with a belt strip decal depicting the school girls who were kidnapped in the night by Boko Haram from their schools in Chibok, Nigeria in 2014. The word “vanishing” is faintly etched beneath the collar and broken buttons, representing that the girls seemingly vanished in the night.
“I was disturbed by the news on NPR when I heard 250 school girls in Nigeria were kidnapped in the middle of the night from their dormitory by Boko Haram,” Maloney said. “As an artist, you visualize what that would be like as a girl, and that kept gnawing on me.”
Maloney, who has spent time in Africa, India, and Haiti, channeled her emotions into her work to convey the vulnerability of the children she has met around the world. Her work considers who these children were, and who they could have become, bringing their suffering to the forefront of the audience’s mind to provoke conversation and change.
Maloney is one of 37 artists chosen to be a part of the show, which will be hosted by Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh from March 14 to August 18, with the opening occurring in conjunction with the NCECA Annual Conference. She and other artists will speak informally about their pieces during a public reception March 15 from 6-9 p.m.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.