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Inspired by New Harmony’s own Minerva Society, this exhibition focuses on strong female influences spanning from local New Harmony to the limelight of Hollywood. The works selected by our juror portray the embodiment of the goddess Minerva through the modern lens.
Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, handicrafts, poetry, the arts, and later, war. She is seen as the Roman equivalent of Athena and oversaw all things that required forethought and calculation. She is often seen in a helmet, holding a shield, and would carry a spear.
Named after the goddess, The Minerva Society in New Harmony was a literary club for the women of New Harmony, founded by Constance Owen Fauntleroy in 1859. It is considered one of the earliest women's clubs in America. The club members called it The Minerva Society because they “wished to become wise.”
The New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Jenn Horn, Instructor of English at the University of Southern Indiana, as the juror for the Minerva: Harmony to Hollywood exhibition held July 4th through August 15th. Horn’s background in folklore and gender studies made her an excellent choice to jury this exhibition.
Jenn Horn is an Instructor in the English Department at USI and teaches a wide variety of courses including Introduction to Folklore, World Mythology, Classical Mythology, and The Body in Art and Culture. Horn is also a skater and Board Member with Evansville’s own Demolition City Roller Derby – a physical-contact sport started and inspired by strong female influences. Although not a visual artist herself, Horn’s diverse background blends visual representations and academic context into a whole picture.
Horn received her Master of Art in English from University of Indianapolis as well as a Master of Art in Folklore from Indiana University Bloomington. She has been teaching English, Mythology, Folklore, Humanities, Anthropology, and Gender Studies courses at the collegiate level for a combined 13 years. In 2009, her narrative “Over My Dead Body” was published as part of the book Over the Edge: Pushing the Boundaries of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Horn has presented at numerous conferences spanning topics of folklore and storytelling, community literacy, to inclusivity and challenging gendered stereotypes. She is part of the American Folklore Society, Popular Culture Association, American Culture Association, Association of Gravestone Studies, and the National Council of Teachers of English.
I was both honored and excited when I was asked to be the juror for this exhibit. In my classical mythology class, Athena/Minerva was always a favorite goddess to talk about because of the variety of attributes she manages. At first, I had so many questions as I have never been a juror and do not come from the visual art field. Being an “untraditional choice,” however, is actually my preference and something that’s been a part of my life since I choose to pursue a folklore degree (which is a little ironic since folklorists study tradition).
The submissions were sent to me with the artists’ names replaced by numbers to prevent name bias. There were some really wonderful pieces entered; it was hard not to choose them all! I tried to spread the wealth and include as many artists as I could, but there were a few works by the same artists that stood out to me because they really embraced the prospectus.
Submissions were scored on a scale of 1-10 for each of the following questions: Did the submission meet the prompt? Is the piece visually appealing? Is the submission technically done well with good craftsmanship? Submissions, regardless of their visual appeal and technicality, ultimately had to meet the prompt to be considered for the exhibit.
It’s rare that I get the opportunity to do something outside my “normal” and this, even though it was a challenge, was so much fun and so interesting.
~Ms. Jenn Horn
This exhibition has ended and works are no longer available for sale.