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Exploring the Meredith Hues Iris Alumnae Art Exhibition

Painting of the Meredith Hues irises in front of Johnson Hall

The ‘Meredith Hues’ Iris Alumnae Exhibit, currently on view in Meredith’s Weems Art Gallery, has involved a process much like artwork itself – initial inspiration, developing concepts, and expression.

While an exhibit depicting flowers may sound conventionally trite, this collection of artwork captures inspiration from emerging issues in our changing world. The work of more than 60 artists and their written artist statements challenge us to look more closely at the meaning, layered symbolism, influences, vulnerability, passion, and strength incorporated into the creation of these works of art.

This exhibit offers creative interpretations of a tall bearded iris ‘Meredith Hues’, which was hybridized and registered by Loleta Kenan Powell, ’41. Throughout her life Powell loved inspiring others whether those lessons involved classrooms as a teacher, or the acres of iris, lilies and hostas that she lovingly cultivated. She died in 2016 at the age of 95, and leaves a legacy with gardeners around the world – results of her remarkable ability to blend botanical knowledge and visual creativity.

Included below are excerpts from several artists’ statements:

Evocation – “is about exploring the dualities of light and darkness in order to find balance.
Kate Loughlin, ‘17
Oil on Canvas

Iris Bloom – “There are times in a woman’s life marked by intense growth and change. – Iris Bloom symbolizes the intensely personal and spiritual transformations that can happen under the right conditions – conditions of love and grace.”
Jonne McGuffin Boone, ‘77
Felted Fiber

Iris – “is inspired by Shin Saimdang, the first female artist in Korea during the 1500’s.
Doyun Yoon, ‘17
Oil on Canvas

Unveil – “Much of my work explores the paradoxes of femininity and the delicate balance between objectification and empowerment.” “I am proud that Meredith College has a mission of cultivating
strength and challenging women to redefine their sense of self and purpose beyond the confinement of gendered boundaries.”
Holly Fischer, ‘99
Ceramic

Ianna – “invites closer inspection, tempting awareness of gender inequality, challenging archetypes embedded in religion and the broader society.” “I mean to provoke awareness and disrupt complacency.”
Kiki Farish, ‘81
Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

Make plans to visit the Meredith Iris Hues Exhibition
The exhibition is open through Sunday, March 11. An exhibition reception will be held on Tuesday, February 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., featuring artist introductions and a brief gallery talk at 6:15 p.m.
Free and open to the public.

Learn more on the Gallery website

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu