Written by Madalyn Chapman
Two new exhibitions are being displayed at the Olin Galleries: a small portion of the “We Are All Homeless” series by Willie Baronet and a mere smattering of artwork from the RC “Legacy” Collection, artworks that are permanently stored in the archives.
Baronet began this collection in 1993 as part of a documentary, “Signs of Humanity,” raising awareness about the many causes of homelessness, as well as evoking empathy from those who view the pieces or the film.
Since 2014, Baronet has travelled the country buying cardboard signs from the homeless and conducting interviews with their owners.
“We try to bring in work that will spark conversation, regardless of that conversation,” said Olin Gallery director Talia Logan.
“One of the things we’re trying to do with the exhibitions that we bring in is that we try find a way to branch out outside of the fine arts and into other departments.”
For this particular exhibition, the art students worked with the sociology students to create presentations and other visual aids to be placed on the walls alongside the photos. While the “We Are All Homeless” series itself is part of the RC Permanent Collection, a small selection of photos from the series are currently on display in the Smoyer Gallery.
In the Olin Gallery itself, there is another exhibit on display that’s been in the works for a few years. It houses highlights from the RC Permanent Collection, and was put together as a celebration of the 175th anniversary of the college. There are about 1,400 works in the collection all together.
“Some are on-view on campus, and most of them are in the archives here,” Logan said. The pieces chosen demonstrate the wide variety of art forms present in the Permanent Collection, ranging from sculptures to paintings to drawings.
“A lot of the works in this show are considered more contemporary because that’s what we’ve been focusing on,” Logan said.
While the arts may not have the main focus of this school, but Logan said that a visit to the Olin Hall Galleries is an enriching experience, saying that “the art transcends beyond the gallery.”