“Lit,” the fall exhibition at the Barbara Crawford Gallery at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, will feature a small group of internationally known artists. This exhibition features books, both literal and metaphorical, and will open with a reception for the community on Thursday, Oct. 10, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
The exhibition has been curated by Melissa Maddonni Haims, a Chestnut Hill-based curator, sculptor and SCH parent. Melissa, whose passion for the SCH Department of Art and New Media runs deep, is the current Curatorial Consultant for the school. Inspired by the English curriculum, Haims chose each piece of work based on its connections to literature and more specifically, the physical book. Using books in ways that books were not meant to be used can be challenging, but each of the artists invited to exhibit have mastered the task.
The exhibit reflects the SCH English Department’s ninth-grade curriculum, which focuses on the relationship between the individual and society. Through the ninth-grade texts, students explore themes such as personal enlightenment, personal development, civil disobedience and social justice.
SCH is delighted to celebrate the work of iconic American artist Faith Ringgold, “Lit” features multiple works by Ringgold including a story quilt as well as the illustrations from her book “Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky,” which won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award in 1993.
Ringgold passionately combines a deep commitment to social activism with a style that draws from folk art and modernist painting. Across her body of work, paintings and sculptures lay bare the discrimination that plagues our world and double as rallying cries for urgent change.
“You can’t sit around waiting for somebody else to say who you are. You need to write it and paint it and do it,” she once said. “That’s the power of being an artist.”
And while the subjects and scenes that fill Ringgold’s compositions are inspired by the American experience, the themes are universal: inequality and the struggle for its eradication.
Other invited artists are Delainey Barclay (Wilmington) Jesse Lentz (Baltimore), Katie Murken (San Francisco) and John Wind (Philadelphia). The exhibition will also feature a selection of comic books from Amalgam Comics in Philadelphia and two pieces from the permanent collection.
The exhibition will run through Jan. 3. The gallery is open during school hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday hours from 12 to 3 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 19, Nov. 9 and 23. To schedule a docent-led tour of this exhibition, email firstname.lastname@example.org. SCH’s Barbara Crawford Gallery is located at 500 W. Willow Grove Ave.