Traveling Exhibit Aims to Break Down Boundaries

Students walking by Boyden Gallery in the last few weeks may have noticed a new exhibit being housed in the gallery entitled “Between Fences.” Between Fences is a Smithsonian Institute traveling exhibit that has been touring Maryland since September 2010.

Michael S. Glaser, Professor Emeritus, wrote a letter introducing the exhibit in which he describes it as “[an exhibit] designed to encourage local communities to consider the various ways fences are experienced.”

“Local fences play a large role in how we see ourselves as members of our Southern Maryland community,” writes Glaser. He also wrote on the mission statement of the exhibit, which is to “encourage us to think more deeply about how we are defined by the fences in our lives.”

The exhibit is composed of numerous installations concerning fences, both metaphorically and physically, and how those around the Southern Maryland community are breaking down fences and communicating.

Glaser wrote, “Local exhibits will embrace a rich mosaic of diverse groups, such as, the Patuxent River Keeper, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, Daughters of Abraham, Calvert Marine Museum, Walden Sierra, the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, and the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions, to name a few.”

Each participant set up an installation to be in the gallery as a way to explain how their organization works to break down fences.

Most of the installations utilized pictures and information about their organization to express how they were breaking down fences, but some took it even further and used other forms of art to express themselves.

The installation “And They All fELL Down: English Language Learners in U.S. Schools, by Katy Arnett and the Members of the Student Education Association,” created large, colored puzzle pieces which each held a fact about English Language Learners in the Unites States education system.

The Walden group’s “Air it Out: A Clothesline Project,” displayed artistic t-shirts as a way to express the fences faced by those who have been victims of abuse.

While each group had smaller installations which they had creative control over, the center of the exhibit holds large information concerning fences and their history in the United States.

These posters show fences as they have evolved in utilization and material throughout the United States.

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