News Hartwick Students, Alumni Help New Yager Museum Exhibition Gain Statewide Recognition
A new exhibition at the Hartwick College Yager Museum of Art & Culture has been highlighted by the I Love NY website’s “Guide to Hispanic Culture.” For The Moment, Living Images: Masks of Mexico and Beyond, features masks from the Museum’s collection, as well as other associated objects, in a celebration of Mexican public festival culture. Hartwick students, alumni, and staff helped curate and install the exhibit, which was recently featured in the website’s blog post, “Discover Hispanic Culture in New York State.” The Yager was one of only two museums highlighted in the guide, along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For The Moment, Living Images: Masks of Mexico and Beyond was co-curated by Yager Museum Collections and Programs Manager Dr. Quentin Lewis and Nora Mendez ’16, formerly of the College’s Admissions office. Hartwick Museum Studies students Elizabeth Popyack ’24 and Gabriel Valenzuela ’23 also installed the exhibition with Lewis and Mendez, a collaborative work experience provided under FlightPath, the College’s future-focused approach to education. Graduates of the Museum Studies program have gone on to careers in a variety of museums, including the Norman Rockwell Museum, Winterthur Museum, and the Nantucket Historical Association.
“As someone who wants to work in the museum field after graduate school, working on For The Moment, Living Images: Masks of Mexico and Beyond gave me crucial insight on the creative processes a museum curator goes through,” said Valenzuela. “Being able to work as a part of a team alongside Dr. Quentin Lewis, Dr. Douglas Kendall, and Nora Mendez provided me with the best academic experience I have ever had at Hartwick College.”
In addition to featuring masks and regalia from the Mexican states of Guerrero and Sonora, the exhibit also showcases films of mask dances, as well as objects from Aztec, Mayan, and other peoples who inhabited the region prior to European arrival and whose culture influenced the style and symbols of Mexican masks.
“This exhibit brings together our current ‘masked up’ moment during the COVID-19 pandemic with the Museum’s rich collection of Mexican masks,” said Lewis. “Both kinds of masks are a form of public non-verbal communication, and a symbol of shared cultural understanding. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate Mexican festival culture, particularly in a moment where the pandemic has hit Latino/Latina communities in the US and Mexico so hard.”
For The Moment, Living Images: Masks of Mexico and Beyond may be viewed Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can also explore all of the Museum’s current exhibits including With Renewed Courage: Women Artists in the Museum Collections; Of Time and the River: 12,000 Years in the Upper Susquehanna Region; From Viking to Insight: Henry Cooper and the Quest for Life on Mars; Sculptures in Silver: America’s Standing Liberty Quarters, 1916-1931; and Masterpieces of European and American Art: the Hartwick College Art Treasure Room.
The Yager is the Oneonta area’s only museum of art and culture. The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when the College is in session. Admission is free and parking is available near the entrance on the first floor of Yager Hall. To reach the Museum, take West Street to Clinton Street and turn right onto Cayuga Drive. Follow Cayuga Drive to Yager Hall. Parking is available adjacent to the Museum entrance. In accordance with Hartwick College policy, visitors must be able to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and wear masks while indoors.