Reception celebrates women and gender art

Alexandria Sprague

The Grand Valley State University Women’s Center will be holding its 12th Annual Art Reception today from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. at Kirkhof Center 1201 on the Allendale Campus in an attempt to create a meaningful learning experience about gender issues.

Each April, the Women’s Center, including Assistant Director Brittany Dernberger, puts out a call for
artwork to the community, students and faculty to have on display. This year, 15 pieces will be
showcased, and all were selected to provoke gender related discussions and explore new topics.

“The (Women’s) Center believes that the function of art is to challenge our perceptions and to help us
create new meaning and understanding,” Dernberger said. “The Women’s Center is committed to
using art as a form of expression for gender.”

All students, faculty and community members are invited to attend the reception and check out the
pieces and center throughout the year. In addition, Women and Gender Studies and self-defense
classes come in to enjoy and discuss the pieces. Each piece is different, but all are embracing women
and the beauty of their body, whether it be the strength or struggles they go through.

“The reception is just another reminder of why we are doing what we are doing and what we are
accomplishing,” student Amy Elya said.

The Women’s Center’s mission is to educate, engage and empower women, students and the greater
GVSU Community. The Art Reception contributes to this mission by creating a space to explore
gender-related topics not typically considered.

This year’s reception also offers the opportunity to welcome the new director, Jessica Jennrich, from
Dartmouth College Center for Gender and Student Engagement. She plans to maintain current
programs and events as well as increase work that has been done at the center on a local and national
level. Jennrich is succeeding Marlene Kowalski-Braun, who is now assistant vice provost for Student

For more information on the reception or the Women’s Center, visit the office in Kirkhof or email them
at [email protected].

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