Wilkes University’s Sordoni Art Gallery Celebrates “Year of the Vote: Gender, Politics & Power”

by Web Services

Wilkes University’s Sordoni Art Gallery is presenting “Year of the Vote: Gender, Politics, & Power,” a year-long event celebrating and recognizing the 100-year anniversary of women receiving the right to vote.

Multiple events will take place each month, all centered around a specific theme. 

“We’re not only looking to the past and the hurdles we’ve already overcome, but we’re looking to right now and looking at how far we have to go,” said Heather Sincavage, assistant professor and director of the Sordoni Art Gallery, in describing the initiative. 

Each month the series will feature thematic lectures delivered by Wilkes professors across disciplines.  It also will feature a discussion group in the gallery called “EqualiTEAs.” The groups will continue the tradition set by suffragettes in which they would discuss women’s issues over tea. Along with continuing the tradition of tea and baked goods being provided, each discussion will also feature a creative activity. 

Along with the lectures and EqualiTEAs, the project will also have special events throughout the year. An open mic event will take place every month starting in February, organized by Karley Stasko, volunteer and outreach coordinator of Sordoni Art Gallery. 

The project is a collaborative interdisciplinary project of University faculty including Sincavage; Mia Briceno, associate professor of communication studies; Helen Davis, associate professor of English; Maria Grandinetti, associate professor of nursing; Andreea Maierean, assistant professor of political science; Jennifer Thomas and Ellen Newell, both associate professors of psychology; and Lisa Reynolds, assistant professor of Integrative Media.

The group will also release a monthly podcast titled “In the Kisser,” featuring faculty members discussing women’s issues tying into each month’s theme. Involved professors include Lisa Reynolds, Mia Briceno. Ellen Newell, and Heather Sincavage. Kristen Rock of the Communication Studies department is producing the podcasts. The podcast will be released at the end of every month and will be available for streaming on wilkes.edu/yearofthevote

Each event takes place in the Sordoni Art Gallery unless otherwise noted. All events are free to the public. The series will continue through the summer and into the fall semester. More information about the individual lectures will be released. 

The following is a month-by-month summary of activities:

January – Introduction to the Year of the Vote Series

  • Lecture: Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. – What Binds Us Tight by Eva Polizzi, fibers artist
  • This lecture is part of the opening reception of the newest exhibit at the Sordoni Art Gallery, “Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints.” Most female artists who work in the medium of fiber are still overlooked by curators and museums. This lecture, or rather a discussion, aims to add another layer to the investigation by exploring a few more women fiber artists whose names are still missing from many art-history textbooks, and their sometimes unconventional work that is left out of the limelight.

February – Black History Month

  • EqualiTEA: Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Discussion: Women’s healthcare and activist poster making
  • Activity: poster-making for The Vagina Monologues
  • Event: Feb. 14 at 7 pm. and Feb. 5 at 2  p.m. in the Henry Ballroom – Vagina Monologues

A benefit production of the award-winning play “Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler featuring students and faculty from the University. 

  • Lecture: Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. – “Black Liberation: Race, Class & Colonialism in W.E.B. Du Bois and Fanon” by Jap Nanak Makkar, assistant professor of English 
  • Open mic/poetry slam: After the lecture

March – Women’s History Month

  • Celebrate International Women’s Day: March 8
  • Lecture: March 12 at 4:30 p.m.- “Not Just Housewives: Women’s Activism Before the 19th Amendment” by Amy Sopak-Joseph, assistant professor of history
  • EqualiTEA: March 24 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Discussion: Clothing and politics
  • Activity: Make your own button
  • Open mic/poetry slam: March 26 at 6 p.m.

April – Sexual Assault/Human Trafficking

  • Event: April 6 and 7: “Gender, Politics and Power,” Women and Gender Studies Conference. Keynote address on April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Henry Student Center – Speaker: Dr. Gwendoline Alphonso, associate professor of politics at Fairfield University ; April 7 – Conference begins at 9:30 a.m.
  • Lecture: April 14 at 11:30 a.m. – “Human Trafficking: An Epidemic of Our Time” by Andreea Meierean, assistant profressor of political science
  • EqualiTEA: April 21 from 11 a.m – 1 p.m. 
  • Discussion: “Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking,” Jennifer Thomas, associate professor of psychology
  • Activity: Red Sand Project — The project is an art and social justice-based installation which features red sand being spread on sidewalks on campus. Each grain of sand represents sex trafficking victims who fall through the cracks – both the cracks of the system and our own personal consciousness. 
  • Open mic/poetry slam: April 30 at 6 p.m.
  • Event: Week of April 27 in Breiseth Hall – Poster Project Pop-up Show–Student-run exhibition featuring a women’s rights-based print sale. Designs will be completed by Jess Morandi, digital design and media arts major and designer for the Sordoni Art Gallery, alongside other students. 

Themes for remaining months in the “Year of the Vote” project will be:

May: Health


July: Art/Expression

August: Education

September: Sports

October: Politics

November: Violence

Details about upcoming months will be released as they become available. More information can be found on the project’s website at wilkes.edu/yearofthevote. 

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