During the first week of November, Helicon, the undergraduate student art history organization, organized the exhibit Politically Erect: The Visual Stimulation of Politics for the Warren Robbins Gallery on North Campus. Because the presidential election fell during that week we decided to organize the exhibit around politics, though we were concerned that such a topic might come across as dry, hence the provocative title.
We advertised for submissions of artwork with flyers that explicitly depicted the Queen of England. The provocative flyers were promptly taken down almost everywhere they were posted. Despite this, we received some wonderful submissions from a wide range of students and in a wide range of media: photography, painting, film, installation, and performance art.
Some Helicon members are interested in pursuing gallery work in the future, so the opportunity to install an exhibit was an interesting experience. We had to repaint and clean most of the fixtures and rearrange the lighting scheme to best illuminate the art. Hanging canvases proved to be much more complex than anticipated.
The opening night reception was a great success and well attended. Some of the art was interactive and encouraged participation from attendees. Local music project Raw Honey played an amazing set and we were grateful to have something other than visual art represented as well. Overall it was a rewarding experience, and Helicon hopes to curate more exhibitions in the future.