Two Watkins fine artists present their capstone work in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery. Their opening will take place on Thursday, March 8, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Ashley Doggett’s show, entitled debut, focuses on one of the more pivotal moments in high society culture: a young woman is given away to potential suitors, confronting the inherent notion that she will have to face the physical world and its set requirements for her. In debut, philosophies around colonial gender and racial identity come into conversation and embody the artist’s own personal coming of age as a young black adult. “This body of work seeks to ultimately question and reveal my interpersonal relationship with my past, present, and future,” says Doggett. “Through the usage of allegory, abstract notions of the highly inundated cultural practices surrounding the debut merge in a conversation with that of American colonialism and black identity.”
Sandra Ventura-Benitez’s show, Our America, explores her experience as a first-generation Salvadoran-American, hearing her mother’s stories of civil wars, losing family members, and escaping her native land and leaving many behind. Her photographic work examines the “difficulties of living in a new culture,” says Ventura-Benitez. “Through photographs and text, I give the women in my community a space to show their faces, to tell their experiences, and to examine what it means to be a part of two cultures.”