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Undergraduate Research in Art History

Student Research in Art History

Kaylie Wilson '11 describes her art history 2010 Summer Undergraduate Research Project (SURP) in which she examined how new archival structures alter a participant's dialogue with a body of images. This project was completed under the mentorship of professor Kathleen Howe.

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Pomona is a community of daring minds. It is a place for students who are venturesome by choice, who have talent, passion, and independence of spirit, and who are prepared to dream big and work hard in order to make a difference in the world.

One way that Pomona College provides opportunities for students to excel is through research opportunities. Conducting research as an undergraduate not only gives students an advantage when applying for fellowships or graduate school; it also gives them a chance to tackle real-world problems and to find out what it’s like to be treated as colleagues by their professors, many of whom are the leading experts in their fields.

Expanding the possibilities of material transformation through alternative surfaces, media, and processes

Kulsum Ebrahim (2015); Mentor(s): Sandeep Mukherjee

Abstract: The SURP was a ten-week apprenticeship under Sandeep Mukherjee, an L.A. based contemporary artist. We sought to expand the conversation about painting as artistic practice, and art as a means of access to an event, space, or experience that is not solely limited to a semiotic reading but instead amplifies affect in order to resist self-identity and connd the experiencing body were considered as important means to calibrate the process. The practice involved creating work that is moving, work that is additive and subtractive, and work that is always in the state of becoming. The apprenticeship culminated in a 18 feet x 45 feet site specific piece that will be installed at Guerilla Atelier in downtown Los Angeles. This work is a reductive intervention in the preexisting architecture on a very large scale that explores the immersive and environmental possibilities of contemporary painting.
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP

Pages: The Poetry of Mirella Bentivoglio

Benjamin Kersten (2015); Additional Collaborator(s): Kathleen Howe; Mentor(s): Frances Pohl; Rebecca McGrew; Steve Coomba

Abstract: Despite an early career as a verse poet, Mirella Bentivoglio’s prolific career spans many artistic genres. A poet, sculptor, performance artist, concrete poet, and visual poet, she explores the relationship between language and image using a critical approach and wry humor to challenge the given meanings and systems of authority in our society. Bentivoglio has achieved international success; however, a retrospective of her multimedia practice from the past five decades will fill a gap in the scholarly material available in the United States. My work followed key steps in the process of preparing an exhibition. The first included reading past materials, including the exhibition proposal written by Professor Pohl and key articles in order to prepare for a visit to Bentivoglio’s home and workplace in Rome. Over the course of our visit, we collected information on specific works, including interpretations and installation instructions. I also compiled answers for an interview that will be published in the accompanying catalog. Back at the museum, I photographed, accessioned, and entered new works into the museum database while cleaning up the existing archive. This public information will be necessary for constructing an exhibition layout and checklist. Bentivoglio's subversive work draws connections between the language and images of everyday life, falling in line with significant and experimental art that blurs lines between disciplines and power structures.
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP