A student art show currently on display at the Student Union Art Gallery on the University of Massachusetts campus has totally blown the lid off of middle class hypocrisy, apathy, and malaise. The show, “Roveywade,” is the MFA thesis of UMASS student Kimberly Watkins. “Roveywade” encompasses fiber art, sculpture, paintings, a video installation and even found objects, suggesting that there is no medium that Ms. Watkins cannot deftly bend to her purpose of mercilessly exposing the mendacity and craven consumerism of the American middle class in the first decade of the 21st century.
One recent visitor was clearly shaken by what she’d seen. Carol Goodwin, a 44-year-old self-described Soccer Mom, had visited the gallery completely by chance during a long walk on campus, but what she saw changed her life forever. “I was only looking for a pleasant distraction and perhaps a few minutes out of the sun, but after seeing this show I now understand that my entire life has been a distraction.” Standing before a work entitled “Mommy?,” which consisted of a pile of found objects including a broken blender and rusted out steel bucket, Mrs. Goodwin observed, “How did my life come to this? And is it too late to change? Too late for me, too late for our country, too late for our world?” Wiping away a tear, she added, “Before walking in here today I couldn’t wait to get back to my day-to-day life, but seeing this powerful student art has made me realize that I have no life to go back to.” Asked if she had anything to say to the artist, Mrs. Goodwin said, “Yes. Thank you for opening my eyes.”
The show runs through May 24th. Gallery hours are Mon-Thurs, 10-5.