On View through April 2, 2015
Gallery Bergen, Bergen Community College
Gallery Bergen presents “Running Girls” – an exhibition of 28 large mixed media works on paper by Brooklyn artist Mary Mihelic with an installation and performance works by Mihelic with Bergen Community College art students. This exhibition documents the escape of 53 girls from the Nigerian armed group Boko Haram and the continued captivity of at least 220 other girls abducted from their boarding school.
The Running Girls series is in-progress. All 28 of these mixed media works completed to date will be shown at Gallery Bergen. The works themselves are large: 60″ x 44″ – nearly life-sized for a 12 or 13 year-old girl. Most are abstractly figurative, often referring to running. The profusion of curved lines and the use of negative space create a sense of vulnerability and energy without overstatement. Their subtle use of text often refers to literacy and numeracy – skills that women under Boko Haram would be prevented from attaining.
The gallery will also display an ongoing installation and performance piece, “Learning Girls,” with young women seated at school desks, engaged in the simple act of studying what they choose.
Another installation will be comprised of backpacks that are being collected by BCC’s Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation, the Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa, and Women’s History Month to raise awareness of the abductions and continued captivity of the Nigerian 223 girls, as well as the struggle of women worldwide for education and human rights.