Last week, VALLEY was given the opportunity to explore and support an underrepresented, yet highly valuable community in Penn State culture. From February 25 to March 1, the School of Visual Arts welcomed a collective art show entitled “That’s What She Said,” held in the Zoller Gallery. The exhibit featured a diverse array of artists set out to change the conversation regarding feminism, sexual violence, intersectionality and provide a platform for minority voices. “That’s What She Said” is a traveling exhibit co-curated by Katie Hovencamp and Xalli Zuniga. The show also included performances by Heather Sincavage and Laurel Charleston.
The collection expressed an electric range of viewpoints in multiple mediums. When an onlooker steps into the gallery they are faced with a choice. Look straight to find a yellow Victorian armchair with a gaping hole in the seat; behind it are three canvasses of oil paintings. Step to your left to discover a wall of teeth casted in bronze and engraved with various dates. Follow to your right and visitors will come across a mannequin draped in black fabric and a sculpture of spoons seemingly leaking from the wall. The exhibit becomes even more exciting as you travel through it, with each piece demanding your undivided attention and personal interpretation.
In the center of the gallery sits, debatably the most attention grabbing work of art in the collection entitled “Portable Living Room”. The magnetism of this piece comes not only from the sculpture itself, but the living, breathing artist inside of it. Sophia Capaldi is a fifth year Drawing and Painting BFA who is both the artist behind and within this work. Combining her passion for costume design and clay sculpture, Capaldi created her own stone wardrobe of terracotta red clay in which she poses for the duration of the show. Capaldi explains that this piece was an effort for her to step outside of her comfort zone and introduce a dichotomy between the permanence of sculpture and the flexibility of fabric.
It presents itself as a prison-like structure, it’s cumbersome and a bit awkward to wear,” says Capaldi. “But it is also freeing and weird like costumes often are.
Capaldi’s creativity does not stop there — painted onto the sculpture are hundreds of unique characters with their own personalities imagined from her dreams, visions and reflections of herself.
Capaldi’s piece, like many others in the collection, encourage us to look at the world with a new lens. While many pieces celebrated the wonders of the female form, others took issues of patriarchy head on, and most provided a non-binary vision of gender and society. “That’s What She Said” provided a beautiful experience, encouraging viewers to question their preconceptions and embrace a multi-faceted outlook. We thank the School of Visual Arts for contributing a splash of color in a college culture that can often times feel so black and white.