Addison Club Leads Perusal of New Exhibit: “Women in Abstraction”

Staring up at Liz Whitney Quisgard’s wall art made from yarn, “Scrambles,” students joined the Addison Club to explore the Addison Gallery of American Art’s new exhibit “Women in Abstraction: 1741 – Now.” The Addison Club celebrated the launch of this new exhibit on January 28 with a series of activities. Highlights included finding camouflaged objects in artworks and a paper-cutting challenge. Attendee Anthony Woo ’24 discussed what he found memorable.

“I attended because I thought it was a fun thing to do and today is the first day [of] the ‘Woman in Abstraction’ show… The activities were very thoughtfully planned out and I also learnt about the multiple intelligences. That’s an interesting perspective to me,” said Woo.

According to the Addison, “Women in Abstraction” explores how women have utilized visual language and universal aspects of abstraction — including color, line, form, shape, contrast, pattern, and texture — to create art across a wide range of media. Underpinned by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, or the different ways people process information, the exhibit features a diverse selection of artists spanning from the 18th century to the present day, such as Beverly Hallam, Alma Thomas, and Deborah Remington.

In addition to making abstract art less intimidating for students, this opening event also offered attendees opportunities for self-reflection. Many activities were based on Gardner’s eight types of intelligence. For example, the paper-cutting challenge revolved around spatial intelligence. Addison Ambassador and Addison Club co-head Alicia Zhang ’24 explained the purpose of integrating Gardner’s theory into art.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t consider themselves art people, so they avoid art museums… I guess the purpose was just to show that you don’t need to be an art person to enjoy art… You could be a really mathematical person or someone who thinks about things very logically and still be able to [find connections],” said Zhang.

One of the primary goals of the Addison Club is to provide accessible spaces for art discussion, functioning as a low-commitment version of the Addison Community Ambassadors, who are involved in planning events with the Addison. Zhang hopes to spread awareness and appreciation of the Addison to more students on campus.

“I think art is really important. I think it’s what society rests upon and it’s what can change society. Andover is [one of] the only high schools in America with an art museum on campus, so I think it’s really important that students use this resource and come to the Addison because it’s really fun and it’s not just a boring art museum,” said Zhang.

Looking towards the future, the Addison Club is planning to work with other artistic clubs on campus. Zhang discussed the intersectional artistic opportunities such collaborations offer, such as visual art with poetry.

“We’re planning to [work] with another art club — Art for Expression — next week. We’re just going to do some sketching in the gallery…We’re also going to do a collaboration with [PA Poetry Club] to write poetry based on art. I think in general, these collaborations [help] find more intersections in art and other fields like writing,” said Zhang.