Kelli Rae Adams:
work / study
April 4 – April 26
Artist Talk: Thursday, April 4th, 4 PM, in ALEX and ANI, Room 140
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4th, 5-7 PM, in the gallery
Artist in Residency: April 22 - 26, in the gallery
Friday, April 26, 4-5 PM in Alex and Ani, Room 138, followed by a closing reception in the gallery
Featuring Kelli Rae Adams; Natasha Seaman, Curator and Professor of Art History at Rhode Island College; and Marc Shell, Irving Babbit Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English at Harvard University
*If you have a bowl or jar full of accumulated change you are willing to contribute to the installation, please bring it with you to the gallery.Those who offer up a bowlful of mixed coins will receive one of the vessels from the installation when the project is complete.
Curated by Professor Natasha Seaman,
work / study focuses on artist Kelli Rae Adams’ material data visualization of the current student debt crisis in the United States. As a work-in-progress showing, this exhibition serves as the debut of a long-term project entitled Forever in Your Debt. In this first phase of the project, several hundred handmade bowls will represent the volume, in coins, of the median U.S. student loan debt of $17,000. Over the coming months, Adams will add both bowls and contributed coins, culminating in a visualization of the mean student debt burden for a current college graduate, a figure which stands at approximately $37,000. Visitors are invited to contribute their household change in exchange for one of the bowls, which they will receive once the project is complete. Referencing not only the widespread custom of household change bowls but also that of the begging bowl, the project renders visible the largely abstract understanding of the national student debt. As a whole, the exhibition invites reflection on the realities of time, value, and labor; of vulnerability and impermanence; and of reward and sacrifice. Specifically, the works probe prevailing systems of quantifying both labor and higher education, positing questions regarding the effectiveness, sustainability and humanity of these systems.
This exhibition is sponsored by the Bannister Gallery Performing and Fine Arts Commission Student Group.