New Work by Faculty Artists
Most gallery talks don’t include the artists devouring doughnut cakes while discussing their work, but the delicious powdery sugar treats were one of the “stars” of the “Pulse” exhibition being discussed by Amy Archambault, Rachelle Beaudoin and Marguerite White, three of the 10 participants in the current exhibition featuring new work by College of the Holy Cross faculty artists.
The show has a number of purposes — as an exhibition, it features artists who previously may not have been on your radar but are worthy of your attention. For students, it’s an opportunity to see their professors as established artists making exciting work — as was the case with one current student of Michael Beatty, who was excited to see his collection of wood and PLA (Polylactic Acid) 3-D print “Prototypes.” For prospective students with a creative urge visiting the campus, it’s added enticement to attend the college.
Now back to those powdery doughnuts, the stars of Rachelle Beaudoin’s 10-minute film, “Women Are Like That.” Much in demand, she had to go to four different bakeries to get the plateful that sits in front of her in the video, along with parts of her makeup kit. She was combining her daily “performance” of putting on make-up with the intense demand to eat during holiday visits home.
“Basically, I was making an art out of eating,” explained Beaudoin, who uses her work to reflect on things she sees in the culture, or to question a trend she’s seeing. “I felt that was my whole existence there. I was very excited to eat every meal and these were some of the special doughnuts they would have. They were like a material I could use.”
On first view, Marguerite White’s cut-paper-on-vellum silhouettes have the familiar feeling of childhood, taking inspiration from Hans Christian Andersen with people from her own life cast as his well-known fairytale characters, The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl and Karen (of the Red Shoes).
But something has been changed. “These portraits are a bit turned on their head,” White said. “They’re very active — there’s a knife chopping a tail off; there’s blood spurting. I like the idea that initially, you’re looking at something that’s very beautiful to look at … [and then] almost like a cartoon, it’s bloody and weird.”