‘Mirrors & Veils’ exhibit looks at the meaning of being human

Show at Fitton Center in Hamilton through Jan. 21

The Fitton Center’s latest exhibition, “Mirrors & Veils” explores the boundaries of identity and the human condition through silk paintings, masked jesters and layered drawings.

“It’s absolutely stunning work that’s gone into our exhibition. We have artists that are both local, as close as West Chester, and as far away as Hawaii, involved in this exhibition,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

The exhibition showcases three artists, who seem to be talking about some of the same things, but they are also coming from very unique and original, personal and cultural perspectives.

Cathy Mayhugh, director of exhibitions at the Fitton Center, said the artists were chosen by the Fitton Center’s exhibition selection committee, following a proposal process. The artists submitted their work separately and they were combined into this show.

The works of solo artist Kenny Nguyen and a two person show by Maria Valente Hupp and Emily McIlroy will be on display through Fri., Jan. 21. All of the works in the exhibition reflect upon how we see ourselves and relate to the world around us.

“The exhibition is called ‘Mirrors & Veils,’ because it’s really a lot about identity, what it means to be a human being, and the kind of things that we choose to reveal to others, and the things we choose to hide,” said Mayhugh.

Nguyen’s work fills one gallery, while the works of Valente Huff and McIlroy are combined in a second gallery space.

Valente Huff’s pieces are small-scale figurative ceramic works with a lot of mixed media, so she uses other materials like fiber, wood and metal to create her small sculptures.

“The pieces are all figures that seem a bit mysterious. Many of them have masks of some kind, so they feel a little other-worldly,” said Mayhugh.

Depicting wilderness and animals, McIlroy’s works are large-scale, unframed drawings on paper, so they seem to hover on the wall. She also uses mixed media, and all the works have a quality of layered imagery, and sometimes, repeated imagery.

Nguyen’s works are large-scale, too. They are wall-works that he calls “sculpted paintings,” because they are paintings created with silk, and then he folds, drapes and pins them to the wall, so that each time he installs them, they are a little bit different.

“They’re really lovely. They are on the wall, but they have the feeling of sculpture,” Mayhugh said.

She said the exhibition’s theme reflects on “internal and external wildernesses,” and the way we experience the world when we move through it, but then, also the way we experience the world inside of our minds, and how we choose to let those things in or out.

“I hope that visitors spend some time with it, because there are a lot of beautiful details in these works, and that they might be inspired by it, and maybe even inspired to create their own artwork as well,” said Mayhugh.

This is a space where you can come and feel safe, spend some time, and “experience something beautiful,” life-affirming” and “positive,” she said.

How to go

What: “Mirrors & Veils”

When: Now on display through Fri., Jan. 21, 2022. Gallery hours are noon to 7 p.m. Mon. through Thurs. and noon to 5 p.m. on Fridays The galleries are also accessible during public building hours and prior to performances and public events.

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Free

More info: fittoncenter.org. “Mirrors & Veils” is on display in the Fitton’s second-floor galleries.