Berman exhibits spotlight opioid crisis, patriarchy

Sam Rosenthal

Last month, the Berman Museum unveiled two new exhibits. “Hard Work: Early Videos” by artist Kate Gilmore, is a visual look into her old internet videos of playfully working around different structures. “Bearing Witness” by Adam DelMarcelle is a collection of video and street art, like videos and sculptures, all addressing the opioid crisis.

Kate Gilmore’s work brings an illustration of struggle to the Berman, but her silliness comes through as well. For example, she tries to climb a wall on roller skates. The introduction to the exhibition says, “It is widely understood that just below
the surface of humor resides something of significance. Kate Gilmore’s captivating, yet wacky, videos are nonetheless masking a disconcerting dilemma: an anxiety prompted by the seemingly universal inevitability of patriarchal power.”

The absurdity of these videos is part of their greater meaning. “Hard Work” is analogous to Gilmore’s experience as a woman. “Kate Gilmore’s works, while silly in nature, more importantly serve as pointed critiques of the societal and self-inflected barriers women experience as they struggle to succeed,” said Catherine Sirizzotti, the Berman’s curatorial assistant.
“Bearing Witness” is a big contrast with the videos of Kate Gilmore. According to the program, “the exhibition brings together video and slide projections, audio recordings, and street art style prints, that inspire personal reflection and advocate the need for public dialogue and action.” In addition to the different style of presentation, the subject matter is itself unique. “DelMarcelle’s multi-media exhibition uses design activism to address larger societal issues and has devoted his art to bringing awareness to the opioid epidemic that is gripping local and national communities,” said Sirizzotti.

An artist who turns pain
into art, DelMarcelle’s work is heavily influenced by the opioid crisis in America. According to the program, “Since losing his brother to an opioid overdose, and discovering countless more families torn apart by this issue, DelMarcelle has devoted his art to bringing awareness to this epidemic that is gripping his community of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and many others nationwide.”

The Berman Museum finds art to put on display, as well as connect with the Ursinus community. Sirizzotti said, “These exhibitions demonstrate how art can help address and bring awareness to important issues, and in a way that can make them more accessible and relatable. Especially with DelMarcelle’s exhibition, it gives the students in the Museum Studies class an opportunity to take on this process firsthand and explore their creativity.”

The opening reception for these exhibits will be on Thurs- day, February 7th. Both Kate Gilmore and Adam DelMarcelle will be there!