W&L Students Curate Art Exhibition by Almigdad Aldikhaiiry The May 17 event will highlight the exhibit, which is curated by sevens students at W&L as part of a Spring Term course, Seminar in Museum Studies.
As part of a Spring Term seminar in museum studies, Washington and Lee University presents an art exhibit by Almigdad Aldikhaiiry, a Sudanese artist currently based in the U.S. The exhibition is titled “Chaos in Color.”
The campus community is invited to an in-person reception on May 17 at 5 p.m. in the Leyburn Library gallery, and the larger community can view the exhibit online. The exhibit will feature several unique elements, including a Spotify playlist to accompany the paintings, an activity for viewers to interact with the exhibit, and a 3D-printed COVID-19 particle printed in the IQ center to serve as a representation of the numerous COVID-19 particles in Aldikhaiiry’s paintings.
The exhibit is curated by seven students with the help of Isra El-Beshir, associate director of Museums at W&L, who teaches the seminar. The students are Katherine Berman ’22, Ruth Dibble ’22, Merrill Dowdy ’23, Amelia Lancaster ’22, Tyler Palicia ’23, Grace Pelosky ’22 and Sydney von Rosenberg ’21.
Aldikhaiiry began his professional career in 2000 as a political cartoonist in Sudan. Over 15 years, his work became widely published in major newspapers throughout the Middle East. In 2016, Aldikhaiiry came to Los Angeles while political turmoil was growing and safety concerns were rising in Sudan. Now living and working in Los Angeles, Aldikhaiiry continues to be engaged through political works that render visible the truths about the changing environment.
“Aldikhaiiry’s bold, timely work struck me on the first day of class,” Ruth Dibble ’22 said. “What I appreciated even more was how he approached his outlook on his work and practice with honesty. As a studio art major, art is not only something I strive to improve at, but it’s a passion of mine as well.”
“Chaos in Color” highlights three paintings from Aldikhaiiry’s most recent body of work that focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the environment and society. Aldikhaiiry paints the pandemic with a stroke of unexpected vibrancy using his signature bright color palette and ironically playful COVID-19 motifs to reveal the multifaceted nature of pandemic life and the new normal.
“To me, Aldikhaiiry’s paintings highlight human resilience during the pandemic,” Katherine Berman ’22 said. “Aldikhaiiry demonstrates the power art has to bring about change, and he provides his audience with perhaps a new perspective on the pandemic with his vibrant use of color. I’ve learned so much from this experience, especially regarding collaboration and the fine tuning that goes into curating an exhibition.”