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The Light Inside

The Bell Jar

exhibition catalog


Sulfur Studios

May 7-9, 2015


Contents Katina Bitsicas... 3

kym Hempworth... 21

Anna Brody... 5

Nina Ramadan... 23

Maureen Catbagan... 7

Boz Schurr... 25

Laura Collins... 9

Penelope Stone... 27

Madeleine Daste... 11

Haley Varacallo... 29

Kate ehle... 13

Ms. Writtenart... 31

sara fields... 15

About the Curator... 33

Julianne French... 17

Special thanks... 35

Anita Funston... 19


Katina Bitsicas Monday’s Activity Stitching on Cotton Two 12” hoops 2014 NFS


Individuals who are medically deemed “mad” or “insane” are placed in this group of the “other”. Foucault argues that this voice of the insane is rarely heard, hindering society’s understanding of these individuals. According to Foucault, we must delve into their minds in order to achieve a greater understanding of how they integrate within society. This pursuit is similar to my undertaking of understanding and connecting with these societal outcasts. I attempt to bring these public issues to the surface, and convey them through these stitchings. Putting these mental issues into a visual form has the possibility of reaching and connecting with people that may have never considered these individuals from a critical perspective before. I hope to serve as that link between the “other” and the societal normal, so that bridge can be formed for a greater understanding of both worlds.” -KATINA BITSICAS

Katina Bitsicas

“In Monday’s Activity, I utilized the old technology of stitching to connect with the individuals who resided in these mental institutions via the repetition of the process of sewing. The floor plans that are stitched are of three Michigan Kirkbride asylums. Asylums and hospitals; containers for the unwell and people on the brink of either death by their own hand or disease, developed my interest in the “other”, people cast out of society and placed in these boxes. This interest spanned from the mentally unstable in institutions to prisoners confined in their jail cells. I compared my psyches to theirs to establish if I fit into this group with my bizarre fantasies and self-destructive interests. Jacques Lacan also discusses the desire for the “other”, and the confusion over the empathy that I have for them. When I imagine these similar thoughts, I feel closer to “the other” than ever before.

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Retrograde 2 C-Print 19.5” x 13.5” 2014 $20 unframed

Retrograde 4 C-Print 11” x 14” 2014 $40 unframed


Anna is currently a sophomore Photography major at SCAD.

Anna Brody

The Retrograde series was inspired by the dramatic ups and downs of women who attempt to remedy their social discomfort with party drugs. Self-conscious and over compensating, or fighting a natural lean towards introversion, they crush pills and take shots, living out the night through manic highs and wasted, unpredictable depressions. They end up, ironically, alone.

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Them: Outsider Art Fair (visitor) Digital print Dimensions variable 2015 $150


Maureen catbagan

Maureen Catbagan is a filmmaker and multi-media artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions including Parallel Time at Roger Smith Arts, New York; The Map Show at Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack; and Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu. Catbagan’s collaborative projects with HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Collective include Post Speculation at P! Gallery, New York and the film Goodstock on the Dimension Floor at the 2014 Whitney Biennial (which was later withdrawn in protest). Currently, she is in the post-production phase of her first feature film Lilly Galaxy.

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Fracture Collage print 11” x 14” 2014 $50

Armor Collage print 14” x 11” 2014 $50


Laura lives and works in Chicago.

Laura Collins

“I work intuitively, often alluding to moments of personal discomfort and alienation, proposing them to be in fact universal. While generally a simple pairing of two images, my collages combine to form complex relationships. These pieces are often assembled to share an unbroken seam that connects two otherwise disjointed images, creating waning moments where they appear as one. There is a tension between the images where they work together, yet constantly reject one another. It is my hope that this guides a cyclical involvement for the viewer.� -LAURA COLLINS

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Bad Luck Monotype Ink on Titakata paper 17” x 20” 2014 $75

I’m good, how are you? Monotype Ink on Titakata paper 17” x 20” 2014 $75


Madeleine currently lives in Savannah, GA.

Madeleine Daste

““Everyone gets sad, Madeleine” was one of the first things my dad told me when my mom and I explained to him that I was about to start taking medication for depression. It was and is still this exact stigma that mental illness is not real or, even worse, being done for attention that I no longer hide my illness. I’m not really afraid of the stigma anymore especially a stigma concerning my gender. I’m trying my best to be an adult and live a life that isn’t completely erratic or altered. When I started 7 I had no set intention of how I wanted these prints to look. The work became a release for me, a way to show what was going on, show how something felt. These prints, if anything, reflect the panic, anxiety, and anger I have faced recently and over the years.” -MADELEINE DASTE

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December Digital photography collage 11� x 14� framed 2014 $200


“In May of 2014, I unveiled a series of manipulated photographs I called “12,” which I dedicated to my wonderful mother, Julie, who had passed away one year before. I created this body of work as a way to heal after the loss. Our family’s camp at Pine Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State was her very favorite place...it is all of our favorite place. It holds our most special memories. And after she died, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to spend time there anymore. So I forced myself to go to the lake. I forced myself to take long walks and try to see the many beautiful things that she loved so much. I forced myself to fall in love with camp all over again, even if she wasn’t there. And in doing so, I realized that she was there. She was everywhere and she always would be.

Kate Ehle

A native of Johnstown, NY, Kate Ehle is the Director of Communications for Lexington, an agency which supports individuals with developmental disabilities. Prior to joining Lexington, Kate was the Art Director for OPERA America (New York, NY), the national service organization for opera, for 11 years. Kate is a digital artist and creates her digital collages by manipulating and combining her photographs and experimenting with color, texture and mood. She holds a B.S in Organizational Communication, Learning and Design from Ithaca College.

It was then that the idea for this project was born. I decided to make one piece every month for a year. I knew that if I committed to the idea, I would have no choice but to visit Pine Lake every month, hoping that each time I did it, it would become a little easier.” -KATE EHLE

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Home Archival Pigment Print 12” x 16” 2014 $100

The Progression of Two Minds Archival Pigment Print 12” x 24” 2014 $150


Her most recent and on-going project explores the various mental or emotional states when dealing with depression or other anguishes of the mind.

Sara Fields

Sara Fields is a photographer from Austin, TX and is currently working towards her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. Herwork is primarily expressionistic, consisting of stills and portraiture. Sara keeps her images clean and simple with soft tones and uncomplicated compositions.

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Inverse Reality Oil, ink and charcoal on antique photograph 18.5” x 12.75” 2014 $200


She has been the recipient of two Art Ventures Individual Artist grants from the Community Foundation in Northeast Florida. Currently Julianne’s work focuses on syncretism and how architecture establishes cultural identities. Julianne currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Julianne French

“Paper and canvas is but a metaphor for identity and memory in my work. I largely work from antique photographs, which become part of my art, and translate as tangible relics of time. These portraits are embedded into my canvas and paper in several forms--whole and unchanged or altered by intentional decay where paint spills over their surfaces, edges frayed and weathered. I strive try to create a tension in the imagery whether from coloration, texture or arrangements. The element of unearthing is inherent in my work, as though the photos themselves and the compositions are part of an archeological dig from another time. Each image resides as a reminder of the passing of time where the individuals depicted are unknown but proof enough that they existed. It is up to the viewer to contemplate these individuals and hopefully give to them the story they no longer possess.� -JULIANNE FRENCH

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Waiting Clay and mason stain 3.5” x 12” x 4” 2009-2013 $435


Awards include Bronze at the 2014 North Carolina Silver Arts and a Merit Award at the 2014 Sculpture Celebration in Lenoir, NC. Anita currently lives in Hendersonville, NC.

Anita Funston

“Inspirations for my painting and sculptures are plants, animals, landscapes and people. Having a strong science background has helped me to appreciate the fine details of nature that I incorporate into my art. I enjoy working in a variety of media. My art is one of a kind, with care to incorporats realism and fine detail. At the same time, I enjoy adding a mix of surrealism, humor and tranquility. The influences and art that I admire include the great works of Magritte and Dali.� -ANITA FUNSTON

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More Weight Mixed Media 17 5/8” x 27 1/8” x 5 ½” 2012 $1,600


Both the materials and the process of my work reference a tradition of women’s domestic art. The materials I use (beads, buttons, fabric, thread, ribbons, etc.), have feminine associations and are also associated more with craft, rather than with fine art. All of my work includes hand sewing. The process involved in creating it can be described as repetitive, detail oriented, and labor intensive. These words are often used to describe “women’s work”, when an occupation is stereotyped by gender. The obsessively r epetitive nature of my work also alludes to the idea of horror vacui, a fear of empty spaces. The term has been used to describe the oppressive atmosphere and clutter of interior design in the Victorian era.” -KYM HEMPWORTH

Kym Hempworth

“My mixed media assemblages are inspired by Victorian mourning art and explore the themes of love, loss and grief. The traditional purpose of mourning art is to symbolically represent the loss of a loved one to death, to console those who grieve, and to convey the idea that love continues beyond death. In mourning art, memory bridges the distance between absence and presence. I am inspired by mourning art because it combines handmade craftsmanship, attention to detail, and sentimental narrative, within a quiet, inward-focused space. The combination of these elements results in the creation of surreal, fetish-like objects of dark beauty. Although my work explores the themes of love, loss and grief, these themes are not tied exclusively to death. Loss may instead represent the past, severed relationships, or the end of youth. Grief may be over abandonment, unfulfilled desire, or the weight of the living, physical body and its inevitable decay.

Kym currently resides in Savannah, GA.

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Unraveled 20 Archival Photographic Print 11” x 14” 2013 NFS


Memory is deceiving, yet the impression left by past experiences is long lasting. This series mirrors the non-linear fashion in which memories are recalled, allowing the viewer to delve in to the mind of the character and navigate through an unfurling story.� -NINA RAMADAN Nina received an MFA in Imaging Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013, and a BA in Studio Art from the University of Virginia in 2010. Her work often explores themes of domesticity, nature, memory, and the relationship between written and visual language. She currently lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Nina ramadan

“Unraveled examines the narrative of growing up in the midst of domestic turmoil while exploring the impact of negative emotions on memory. The images tease the line between fantasy and reality; never any one age, the character drifts in and out of the reality set by her surroundings.

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Aurora Acrylic, Ink, Graphite and Mixed Media on Paper Dimensions Variable 2015 $1,500


We all exist in a world with other people. We interact daily with a wide range of personalities. It is not possible to limit your experience to “normal.” We are but one piece in the cosmo. No one exists in a vacuum. So instead of pushing past others whose mental or physical health might not reflect exactly our own, we must embrace. We are made of many parts: our personalities, our bodies, and our world. In ancient Roman mythology, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn, renewing herself every morning to fly across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun. She meets death everyday at the hands of the night, only to be reborn. She is resilient but she is also generous, spreading her light over everyone she meets, day after day after day.” -BOZ SCHURR

Boz schurr

“There is a strange disconnect between mental illness and normalcy – as if there is astark dividing line between the two: Black and white, us and them, completely separate. I believe this arbitrary classification, ill, healthy, recovering... is very similar to how we catalog our colors: blue, red, green... The visible color spectrum reflects the human experience. An experience where colors cannot be contained as single, definable points. The spectrum is one band of ever shifting, transitioning hues, as are we – our lives and our experiences are continuous and overlapping, yet discreet.

Aurora was specially made for this exhibition. Boz currently lives and works in Kapolei, Hawaii.

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(Clockwise) Here I Am, For How Long, Woe is Me, I Will Go Etching on copperplate paper 9” x 12” 2015 $150 each


Penelope currently resides in Savannah, GA.

Penelope stone

“These four prints are about the obsessive-compulsive nature that certain religious activities can exhibit (such as prayer), as well as extreme forms of mental illness connected to religion like schizophrenia (often manifested as visions or hallucinations). I drew inspiration from Hugh Welch Diamond, who photographed female psychiatric patients, some of which were put into the asylum for being “too religious.” The double standard within many religions often claims extreme religious devotion indicates mental abnormality in women, while in men, the same devotion is seen as respectable.” -PENELOPE STONE

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Catcalling Pigment Print 13” x 19” 2014 $180


Haley currently lives in Savannah, GA.

Haley varacallo

Haley Varacallo is a portrait photographer who works with performers of the more exotic/unconventional nature. Her work is a commentary on the notions of sexuality and gender neautrality/ bending, as well as the documentation of the fantastically colorful and diverse subculture that she finds herself so drawn to. Within her photographs she captures both the glamor and the grit behind her drag queens, burlesque, fetish and cabaret dancers, erotic clowns, transgenders, homosexuals, etc. On occasion, Haley will turn the camera onto herself, creating long or double exposed transcendent self portraits which convey the messages of inner turmoil, growth and experimentation. Her self portraits play off of her interests in the blurring and clarifying of identity, self expression/fulfillment, and the longing to be understood.

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To the Cat’s Liking Acrylic on canvas 12” x 12” 2014 $250


This past fall Kori was diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). She is an abstract paint who uses emotion as as catalyst to create, and made several pieces after attending therapy sessions. Kori is self taught and passionate about discovering the beauty of life through the creation and appreciation of art. She enjoys instructing art parties, live painting, biking, yoga, and working on commissioned pieces. She currently lives in Drexel Hill, PA.

Ms. wittenart

Originally from Akron, OH, MsWritten relocated to Philadelphia in 2009 where she currently resides. Dabbling in writing after moving, then known by her given name “Kori”, she coined the pen name “MsWritten”. Not feeling satisfied with her poems and fashion articles, she picked up a paint brush in 2010 and the journey into the expressionism realm began. From words to canvas, she still practices under the MsWritten name.

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About the curator Sara Uhlig is a Savannah College of Art and Design Master of Arts in Arts Administration candidate hailing from Durham, North Carolina. Holding her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from SCAD, she will transfer to Miami, Florida after graduation this May. The Light Inside the Bell Jar is a menagerie of sorts, bringing together her love of art with her dedication to the support of women and the advocacy for mental illness and it’s stereotypes. She hopes that this exhibition will allow viewers to have open and honest dialogue about mental illness and how it may affect the women in our lives, both on the surface and underneath. Sara was the recent Arts Administration Intern at the Lexington Foundation in Johnstown, New York. She is also the acting Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director for the New York Theatre Intensive, where she is a 2011 Alumni. Her hobbies include getting too excited around animals, singing obnoxiously in the car, and being recognized for her eyebrows.

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Special Thanks Special thank you to SCAD, Sulfur Studios, my parents, Gio, Alma, and Mercy for their ongoing love and support, Britt, Anna, Lauren (x2), Alex, Jess, and Lilly for their wonderful lady relationships with me, the artists in this show for sharing their work and honesty with me, and to all of the other exceptional women I know or have known who have struggled with mental illness. I dedicate this show to you.

Thank you to all of my donors! Wally Hart Susan Merson Alisha McFadzen Alvaro Zapeda Giovanni Perez Linda Thorla Sheila Broderick Shelly Mayfield Victoria Tymons Leah Tourt Julianna French Lee Eachus Gretchen Schreyack Nicolew Hines Emily Laurich Patricia de la Cruz Jamie Keena Mariah Leath Chance Farago Brittany Kelly Brianne Shew Debbie Perez Sara Fields Valene Farmer Mallory Cooney Lauren Prefer Anna Manenti Donna Cantwell

Emily Hamm Ivey Lowe Cara Adrian Leah Vazquez Hillary Eustis Alexandra Chamberlain Patrick Meyers Kelly Stowell Maddy Gabryl Jenny Cierpial Janine Schreyack Aixi Xie Kayla Mazzoni Samantha Rodriguez Xichen Xu Rachel Puleo Rebecca Gismondi Diana Ruiz Lillian Scharf Axelle Kieffer Karen Thorla Margaret Kantor Laurie Pope Darcy Diaz Megan Balser Emily Stallings Xiaochen Gao Anonymous (4)

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The Light Inside the Bell Jar exhibition catalogue  

The Light Inside the Bell Jar was my Savannah College of Art and Design final capstone project for my Master of Arts in Arts Administration....

The Light Inside the Bell Jar exhibition catalogue  

The Light Inside the Bell Jar was my Savannah College of Art and Design final capstone project for my Master of Arts in Arts Administration....