Andrea Bowers: #sweetjane Highlighted in Pomona College's "The Student Life"

"Mixed Media #sweetjane Opens at PCMA and Pitzer, Explores the Wake of Steubenville," by Shelby Wax, The Student Life

The newest installment of the Project Series at the Pomona College Museum of Art (PCMA), contemporary artist Andrea Bowers' #sweetjane, breaks both artistic and spatial boundaries. Bowers investigates and comments on the Steubenville rape case in an exhibit that spans two campuses, with half the collection located at Pitzer College’s Nichols Gallery and the other on display at PCMA. The curators of both galleries collaborated in an effort to allow the work to speak across the colleges.

The centerpiece of these works is the well-known rape case based in Steubenville, Ohio, in which a 16-year-old girl was incapacitated by alcohol and repeatedly raped by two local football players. Much of the evidence included photos, videos, and text messages sent throughout the night the rape occurred. In the wake of the crime, the small town was divided by victim-blaming and the glorification of the local high school football team. As national attention came upon the case, activists from the group Anonymous, famous for wearing Guy Fawkes masks to protect the identity of their members, took to the town and social media to raise awareness and support Jane Doe, as the survivor was referred during the trial.