Over the past semester, two Denison courses have made a home for themselves at the Bryn Du Mansion, bringing the beauty of this historic building to the magic of their individual art disciplines.
Denison’s Installation Art class began preparing their first project for the Mansion at the beginning of the school year. Under the guidance and supervision of Visiting Assistant Professor Melissa Vogley-Woods, the class visited Bryn Du first in September to explore the Mansion’s un-renovated 2nd floor spaces for their “Metaphor” project. The students were asked to think about the space in its raw condition and create an art work that functioned like a metaphor. The entire class came back again in October to install their unique pieces for instructor feedback.
The same group of students again visited the Mansion in November to plan and prepare for their December 5th “Modest Repetition” exhibit. The free, public reception encompassed the entire first floor of the mansion with their “Multiples” projects. Students created installations based on ideas that they formed while thinking about the Mansion and its history. Like objects were placed in interesting formations and installed on Mansion window sills, walls, carpets and fireplaces. The repetitive nature used to create each display made the event truly one-of-a-kind.
In addition, Denison Dance students enjoyed the Mansion in a whole different way this fall. Professor and Chair of Dance at Denison, Sandra Mathern-Smith, began bringing her Site Dance: Body and Environment class to the Mansion in November. The talented group of students used their twice weekly visits to prepare for their “Beyond the Doors” site performance which was held on December 16th. Mathern-Smith’s students performed said site works on the un-renovated 3rd floor where they responded to the history, architecture and cultural significance of the Mansion through dance. This event, as well, was free and open to the public. This was the 3rd time that Professor Mathern-Smith has brought students to the Mansion for a joint project over the years.
“The mission of the Bryn Du Commission is to promote and provide a location for cultural and educational activities. This is who we are. I’m always excited when creative people come up with new and creative uses for the Mansion. We have loved collaborating with Denison’s dance and visual arts students and instructors over the past semester. Their experiences and engagement with the mansion have created a fun interactive experience for all. Many thanks to Professor Mathern-Smith and Assistant Professor Vogley-Woods for including us in their experiences this fall,” says Bruce Cramer, Executive Director of the Bryn Du Commission.