Hofstra Museum show illuminates gender, racial issues


Editor’s note: Mikelley is a junior at Elmont High School. She wrote this review as part of Hofstra University’s recent High School Summer Journalism Institute. It is the first in a series of institute participants’ works that the Herald will publish in the coming days and weeks.

Art has always been a way for people to express their truest feelings. Art is a window to the mind, heart and soul.

The “Converging Voices: Gender and Identity” show at the Emily Lowe gallery at Hofstra University captivated me. Every piece of art had a message. Sometimes it was up to the individual to decipher it.

The Guerrilla Girls’ piece “Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?” and Philemona Williamson’s “Golden Afternoon” are two creations that touched me.

 The Guerrilla Girls piece is a poster that expresses the conflicts that women face in getting recognized for their work. The reason that this poster captures me is because the issues expressed in it are still very real today. The piece shows how some people are ignorant to the changing times.

Williamson’s “Golden Afternoon” is an oil painting. It shows three girls all in the same dress. The one on the left is dark in skin tone. The girl on the right has a very light skin tone. I felt the girl in the middle had a skin tone that was in between the two other girls. They all appear to be in the middle of a fight. The yellow dresses that all the girls are wearing show me that we’re all the same inside. The fight and the skin tones of the girls show the struggle of race. The girl in the middle seems to be in conflict with which race to identify.

All the pieces in the gallery had a message: That everyone has a struggle, no matter what race, gender or skin tone you are. You cannot be so stuck in your own struggles that you think you’re alone, because others go through struggles that are similar to yours.

 “Converging Voices” will run through Dec. 15 at Hofstra’s Emily Lowe Gallery.