Addenda: Gina Adams, Merritt Johnson & Sonya Kelliher-Combs

Merritt Johnson, When Sky presses down and lifts up, bringing water to tear down what is not land, 2020, oil and alkyd on panel, 18 x 24 inches, Courtesy of Accola Griefen Fine Art, New York City and the artist, © Merritt Johnson
January 29, 2022 8:00 AM–June 12, 2022 8:00 AM

Custodians of archives wield great power and responsibility in considering who might be left out, disempowered or silenced in the creation of a specific narrative by those who use their records. Addenda centers interpretation and augmentation of past and present through the archive in an effort to construct a fuller future.

Gina Adams, Treaty with the Mohawk 1797, Broken Treaty Quilt, 2020-2021, hand-cut calico on antique quilt, 76 ½ x 63 ¾ inches, Union College Permanent Collection 2021.6, Courtesy of Accola Griefen Fine Art, New York City and the artist, photography by Aaron Paden, © Gina Adams

Adams, Johnson, and Kelliher-Combs draw on history, cultural traditions, and archives, along with a strong belief in seeking alternative narratives, to create artworks that exist as a record of unconsidered perspectives and often unrecognized pasts.

For this exhibition, these artists were asked to create artwork in response to a collection of archival materials held in the college archives, which details the life of missionary and the first general agent of education for the territory of Alaska, Sheldon Jackson (Union College Class of 1855). The resulting artworks are featured in the Mandeville Gallery alongside additional pieces by the three artists. These works all pose questions about the purpose of archives and how the artists’ active additions to these collections can illuminate the people often silenced by what has been recorded in the past.


Mandeville Gallery, Nott Memorial

807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308