MOUNT VERNON —The Gund, the world-class teaching museum at Kenyon College, is opening a new location dedicated to art education in downtown Mount Vernon.
Housed in a restored, historic storefront at 12 E. Gambier St., The Annex will invite the community to discover new connections to art, ideas and each other through free workshops, creative activities and events inspired by The Gund’s growing permanent collection, the college stated in a release.
Gund Director and Chief Curator Daisy Desrosiers said she is excited to bring The Gund to the broader community, building bridges in the process and encouraging a love of art among neighbors, families, students and lifelong learners, the release states.
“We’ll explore what it means to ‘learn with art’ as a community through programs informed by our permanent collection,” she said. “The Annex provides a safe space to create and express yourself, no matter your academic focus or experience with art.”
The Mellon Foundation and Ariel Foundation, along with the Ohio Arts Council, Kenyon College, and The Gund Board of Directors, generously support The Annex, according to the release.
(Left to right) Kenyon College acting president Jeff Bowman, Gund Director and Chief Curator Daisy Desrosiers and Knox County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carol Grubaugh talk outside of The Annex during its ribbon cutting event. Credit: Grant Ritchey Wynne Morgan will oversee all public programs at The Annex — which will include free, regular classes for all ages — and on campus on behalf of The Gund. Initial offerings at The Annex will highlight photography and watercolor painting.
There will also be weekly art book story times for young children, according to the release.
Part of Kenyon College enters Mount Vernon At the Sept. 8 ribbon cutting, Mount Vernon Mayor Matt Starr said the accessibility to art and creativity within Mount Vernon in partnership with Kenyon College will allow the young and old to flex their creative muscles.
Kenyon College’s acting president Jeff Bowman said The Annex “is a place that will be about exploring the work of artists and the way that we perceive creativity and the way that we share and think about it.
“So it’s very exciting for Kenyon to have another kind of landing pad here right in the middle of Mount Vernon as its bridge back to Gambier.”
Desrosiers added, “The Annex is an invitation for us to meet here in Mount Vernon for us to find each other on campus at the museum.
“This is a space where I hope familiar faces will return.”
“This is an opportunity for us to come together. Our collection is at the center of the program that we have here at the Annex. Our goal is to share what we have on campus with this community, and get to know each other better.
“I look forward to the many ideas programs and initiatives around which we’ll be able to collaborate.”
Inside The Annex, the bright white walls are an open invitation for adventure, Desrosiers said.
“I’m excited for the days, the weeks, the year to come where it gets just messy with color and art. And so please come, please return.”
How The Annex propells artwork Each season, The Annex will focus on one artwork from The Gund’s collection, the artist who made it, and their creative practice.
The Annex will start by exploring a 2019 photograph titled “Trees and Barn” by Dawoud Bey, which The Gund recently added to its permanent collection.
Born in 1953, Bey is widely regarded as one of the most influential photographers of his generation. His work is renowned for its exploration of American history through urban and rural landscapes and its challenge to stereotypical images of historically marginalized groups, according to the release.
One of Bey’s first jobs after finishing graduate school was at Kenyon’s studio art department, and his recent series, “Night Coming Tenderly, Black” — also in The Gund’s permanent collection — features images captured across Ohio.
The Annex’s hours will be Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Student associates from The Gund will assist in the Mount Vernon space, and all members of the college community can visit for free using a Knox Area Transit shuttle, according to the release.
The release also states, The Gund, at 101½ College Drive in Gambier, is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It is closed on Mondays.
From the Knox Pages.