Students inspire Art Museum’s newest exhibit

‘Vanity Deficit’ highlights young artists.


Don’t expect a typical gallery stroll when visiting “Vanity Deficit,” the Springfield Museum of Art’s next exhibit.

Four young artists who represent the Millennials and Generation Z will instead challenge the senses with their installation art and performance art that uses space in a creative, nontraditional way with 3-D works designed to give viewers an experience, not just a look.

Drawings, prints and photos will also be part of this free exhibition opening Sunday, Aug. 6, and running through Friday, Aug. 18, during regular museum hours in the Black Gallery. An opening reception featuring live performances and a chance to meet the artists will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13.

For the first time, a summer intern will act as guest curator. Ryan A. Ramirez, who just graduated from Springfield High School a few weeks ago, has spent the summer interning at the museum and will participate in the show.

Another Springfield High student, Jasmine Owens, Athena Vincent and Caroline Osborn will display multiple works on the vanity theme.

Ramirez previously did an exhibit at The Dome using raw spaces, which in turn inspired this, choosing the artists and their works. Even the exhibit’s title has a meaning behind it.

“ ‘Vanity Deficit’ is the difference between who you appear to be and who you actually are,” said Ramirez. “I am the art, using the body as the medium. That’s not something you can buy and sell.”

Even the space will be unconventional. It will be in the museum’s black box theater to accommodate the space necessary to convey the artists’ intentions.

The exhibition is one of several different takes on art being the museum is presenting according to Museum Curator Erin Shapiro.

“This is creating a challenging and fascinating experience. We’ll be doing more shows for emerging artists,” she said.

While students often recognize supportive teachers for their inspiration, Ramirez credits a bad one for pushing his work to new heights, which he found he could pursue at a higher level at Springfield High, taking International Baccalaureate classes.

His summer work is good training for when Ramirez leaves soon to study at The Art Institute of Chicago.

“It’s been a great opportunity. I encourage people to see what we have done and take a chance with a different medium,” Ramirez said.

While admission to this exhibit is free, admission is $5 for the other galleries.

Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.



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