University of Delaware
Senior Katie Bonanno has developed a program to encourage interaction with an innovative exhibition in Mechanical Hall this fall.

Art in conversation

UD senior encourages community engagement with University Museum exhibitions


10:12 a.m., Sept. 26, 2013--Katie Bonanno, a senior art conservation major at the University of Delaware, has designed a series of interactive programs to accompany a University Museums’ fall exhibition

As part of her senior thesis, Bonanno wanted to find a way to encourage community engagement with the “Hassinger and Clark: Boxes, Combs and Constellations” exhibition on display in Mechanical Hall Gallery. Maren Hassinger and Sonya Clark, both of whom conducted residences at UD during the 2013 spring semester, create art designed to show ordinary objects in new, innovative ways. 

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Exhibition attendees are invited to bring an object or memory that relates to the artists’ work as part of Bonanno’s project titled, “If Objects Could Talk…What Would Yours Say?” 

“We’re hoping to engage people in conversation around the objects that they bring,” said Bonanno.

The dates for sharing events are as follows:

  • Oct. 3: Clark’s artwork focuses on hairdressing and uses hair as both subject and medium. Attendees are invited to bring their “hair” story to Mechanical Hall Gallery at 6 p.m. to share their objects and stories and interact with Clark’s work. 
  • Oct. 17: Hassinger’s work revolves around turning everyday objects, specifically commercial boxes, into contemplative pieces. In celebration of the exhibition, attendees are invited to bring an “upcycling” story with them to Mechanical Hall Gallery at 6 p.m. Upcyclying is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into something new. 

Bonanno and her team will record museum attendees as they share their objects and the stories behind them. The videos will be compiled and shared on Nov. 21 during the closing reception at 6 p.m. in Mechanical Hall. 

“This is a way to preserve the history of the community, a place where locals can come and share their stories so they can be passed on.” said Bonanno. 

Vicki Cassman, undergraduate director of the art conservation program, and Ivan Henderson, curator of education at University Museums, provided Bonanno with guidance and support during her project. 

For more program information see the University Museums website

Article by Kelley Bregenzer

Photos by Evan Krape

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