MANSFIELD — The Ohio State University at Mansfield is offering its art and cultural experiences to the public in a new way this fall, with an online gallery and theater performances.
OSU is kicking off its fall semester with three projects that explore issues surrounding race, identity and contemporary culture. The three projects include a virtual art exhibition showcasing five artists from across the country, a mural project by Ohio State Mansfield students and a virtual theatre performance of the one-act play #Matter by Idris Goodwin.
“We thought that was appropriate given everything that’s been happening over the last few months,” said Joseph F. Fahey, associate professor and director of theatre. “We think that both the gallery and the play do a good job at bringing different points of view into focus as part of a larger conversation.”
The Pearl Conard Gallery at Ohio State Mansfield will premiere its virtual art exhibition Our Voices: 5 Artists Exploring Race, Identity, and Contemporary Culture on Sept. 24. The artists for this virtual exhibition were selected by a jury of artists and scholars and will be featured on the gallery’s social media pages and website at u.osu.edu/pcagallery through October.
The online art exhibition will also include documentation of an ongoing mural project designed by Ohio State Mansfield students Maleah Garrabrant and Kat Wilson in collaboration with Mankind Murals. Titled Different Flowers in the Same Garden, students, faculty and staff were invited to add their personal touches to this mural as a collaborative campus project during the fall semester’s Welcome Week.
When finished, the mural will hang in the Ohio State Mansfield Student Union.
“The piece represents a lot of what society should be like,” Garrabrant said. “Similar to the way each of us is special, the mural celebrates how each flower is different.”
The theatre department will also start its season Sept. 24 with the opening performance of #Matter. The production tells the story of two individuals who, after a heated feud on social media, decide to sit down and have a deeper conversation about the difference in saying All Lives Matter versus Black Lives Matter. An open panel discussion moderated by Ohio State Mansfield Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Tiffany Mitchell will take place after each performance.
“This is a great show for us to be performing with everything happening in the world right now,” student actor Jeffrey Hutchison said. “I hope that our audience can take something away from our characters’ conversation. I certainly have.”
The public can view performances and panel discussions for free through video-conferencing platform Zoom. Visit www.mansfield.osu.edu/theatre for more information.
#Matter performs Sept. 24 at 12:45 and 7 p.m. and Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. The Sept. 26 performance and panel will feature live closed caption services. Requests for accommodation during the Sept. 24 performance can be made by emailing [email protected] at least four days before the performance.