Introverted and OCD: Artist Mandy Cano Villalobos Turns Curator at Kendall College’s Fed Galleries

Aaminah Shakur

The Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art & Design have announced a new initiative called IGNITE which seeks to offer opportunities to emerging curators to produce a small exhibition in the gallery space. The inaugural exhibition, Introverted and OCD, is curated by local artist Mandy Cano Villalobos and features work by eleven artists from around the country. Cano Villalobos says in the curatorial statement:

“Amidst social media bombardment and consumerist exchange, alienation overwhelms us and superficiality has become the norm. Pressed for time, we feel pressured to sacrifice those intangibles of existence that lack marketable value: intimacy, silence, and self-reflection. Yet a quiet protest has arisen.”

The artists included “mark by mark and incision by incision, grasp for a life of substance” according to Cano Villalobos. While the full statement (and indeed, the show title) uses offensive ableist language to describe this work that equates it with real mental illnesses (OCD, schizophrenia), the work itself is worth seeing.

introverted and OCD fed Gallery

Introverted and OCD, curated by Mandy Cano Villalobos, currently on view at the KCAD Fed Galleries

The works include various meditations on mark-making which is a signature fascination for Cano Villalobos and a thread throughout most of her own body of work (which is not included in the show), including works on paper, a video installation, and sculptures made of human hair.

Walking into the first of the two small gallery spaces the work seems subdued and colorless, but the minimal color palette only makes the works more stark and fascinating for not relying on color to make meaning. In contrast, the second small room features brightly colored works from several artists where the mark-making is through color creates a vibrant juxtaposition on a similar theme. There is something truly meditative about viewing the works, and it seems likely the artists themselves found them to be such in the making as well.

The exhibition is devoid of labels, provides very little text, and offers no biographies or statements from the artists to explain their work. Instead, a paper list of works is offered on a pedestal in the corner. This low-text method contributes to the minimalist aesthetic of the show. It would have been preferable for the list of works to include short information and website links for the artists, however, and this was a frequent question from viewers. We, therefore, provide you links below to Instagram pages for the artists so you can easily learn more about them.

Introverted and OCD is showing at The Fed Galleries @ KCAD through October 12. The Fed Galleries @ KCAD offer free admission and are open Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 11:00am-6:00pm and Friday/Saturday 12:00pm-4:00pm. Stay tuned and watch the Fed Galleries website [http://kcad.ed/gallery] for information on further IGNITE exhibitions and other exhibitions in the remainder of the gallery space.



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