Leyburn Library Gallery Reflections

Leyburn Library Gallery Reflections

Visitors share their reactions and reflections to exhibitions organized by the Museums in Leyburn Library's gallery.

Chaos in Color (2021)

Students in ARTH398: Seminar in Museums Studies reflect on pieces in their curated exhibition, Chaos in Color: Paintings by Almigdad Aldikhaiiry.

Clarion Call, 2020. Oil on canvas. Painting by Almigdad Aldikhaiiry
New Normal, 2020. Oil on canvas. Painting by Almigdad Aldikhaiiry

Clarion Call

Ruth Dibble ‘22
Major: Studio Art; Minor in Entrepreneurship
"Clarion Call helped me see the connection between the environment and Covid-19 after this past year. Their impacts on each other go hand-in-hand. The clarion horn sounds the urgency the artist wants to share with the world: dealing with the air pollution, global warming, and fossil fuel usage. Yet, I see a glimpse of hope with the windmill as well as signs of reusable energy on the horizon. Overall, the painting first made me hurt for our mother Earth, but then left me feeling optimistic by the time I walked away.”

New Normal

Amelia Lancaster ‘22
Major: Art History; Chinese and Cultural Heritage and Museums Studies minor
“New Normal speaks to me the most because I had a really hard time adjusting to life at home after having to leave campus due to the lockdown last year. Even now, I still feel like some parts of my college experience are on pause, with only the bare necessities continuing. Still, this painting makes me feel hopeful, because I can see that someone else has been struggling just like me. It reminds me that we've all had to adjust, but that somehow, we've also all been able to keep going.”

New Normal

Tyler Palica ‘23
Major: Journalism
“I like New Normal because it’s a personal statement by the artist about how the pandemic has changed him. I felt an immediate connection to the work, not in an abstract intellectual sense but on a more intimate and visceral level. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same as I was before COVID–19. My life has been negatively altered in so many ways and yet I have no choice but to keep living with the pandemic, not against it. Even if the virus goes away altogether, there will never be a day when I don’t feel the subconscious urge to reach for my mask as I’m walking into a building; I’ll probably always move to the remote corners of crowded rooms; when I’m old people will ask me what it was like and I’ll try to summon a pithy anecdote from the diminishing haze of boredom and disappointment; I’ll never stop running into people who lost someone. The message of this work to me? There are two messages: some learned behavior can’t ever be fully deconditioned, and you can only dilute past traumas, not eliminate them. This piece of artwork maybe isn’t about hope, not to me at least, but something many of us need a lot more than hope right now, which is self-reflection.”

New Normal

Merrill Dowdy ‘23
Major: Art History
“When I look at Aldikhairry’s New Normal, I see visual representations of how much the pandemic uprooted life over the past year. Even further, I see the various colors, shapes and lines coming together to convey the overwhelming year we faced. It reminds me that, while we must continue to move forward, 2020 was not a year to take lightly and put in our past; rather it is something that we we will continue to process and feel the effects of. I appreciate how Aldikhairry uses a bright color palette and familiar allusions to both offer a new perspective of the pandemic, as well as to communicate the powerful effects of COVID."