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Announcement
April 22, 2016

WCMA at Night: Cheryl Pope collaborates with students

Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA)
Courtest of Williams College of Art.

Performance artist Cheryl Pope produces the first WCMA at Night to take place outside the walls of the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) on Sunday, April 24 from 4 to 6pm. Pope, with student collaborators, will perform in various athletic facilities on the Williams campus.

Pope’s visits to campus and multiple conversations with students led to an interest in the relationship between art and athletics. While both have a prominent place within the Williams community, they often remain discrete and even polarized. This roving, two-hour program brings participants through three athletic spaces where art and performance transform the traditional connotations of the facilities. In the Lasell Fitness Center, weight trainers are paired with the gospel choir, shifting the preconceived notion of what the space is used for and who is represented there. In the Chandler Gym, the basketball court is explored as a site of opposing sides in confrontation and opposition with one another. What are the rules of the game? How do these rules dictate what can and cannot happen in the space? A lone microphone at the center of the court will be the site of a performance. In the Simon Squash Courts, a traditional party atmosphere up on the viewing platform will overlook pairs of red sleeping bags, sewn together and placed on the floor of the courts where individual performers and participants read anonymous text on the topic of the assumptions of consent. The evening will culminate with a convening at the Purple Pub Annex where the conversations continue.

 

About the artist
Cheryl Pope is a visual artist focused in sculpture, installation, and performance. Her work questions and responds to issues of identity as it relates to the private self and the public self. For the past three years, her research has been focused on issues of power, inequality, race, gender and segregation in Chicago, where she is from and currently based. This research includes several collaborations with Chicago youth through the intersection of poetry and the visual arts. Producing work that is both relevant and connective for the audience is a main priority for her practice. There is constant intention to position the work in contexts and in ways that attempt to develop new audience. Working at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago as an artist guide gave Pope the opportunity to study the ways in which the general public connects or disconnects from the experience of art. This along with a twelve-year commitment to study under the artist Nick Cave has been a dominant influence on her practice.

Currently Pope is an Adjunct Assistant Interdisciplinary Faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the departments of Fashion and Contemporary Practice and boxing instructor at Franklin Street Boxing and Soho House Chicago. She continues her involvement with youth in the city seeking to provide opportunity for voices to be seen and heard.

 

Williams College Museum of Art
The Williams College Museum of Art makes dynamic art experiences to incite new thinking about art, museums, and the world. At the heart of the Williams College campus the museum draws on the collaborative and multidisciplinary ethos of the surrounding college to enliven the more than 14,000 works in its growing collection. The museum and its collection are a catalyst for student learning and community engagement. WCMA is located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The museum is open 10am to 5pm, Thursdays 10am to 8pm, and closed Wednesdays September through May. In June, July, and August WCMA is open every day 10am–5pm and 10am–8 pm on Thursdays. WCMA is free and open to all. For more information, contact the museum at T 413 597 2429 or visit wcma.williams.edu.

 

Photos available upon request. Press contact: Kim Hugo, Communications Manager; T 413 597 3352; [email protected]

 

Cheryl Pope collaborates with students at Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA)

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