The subject matter of Los Angeles based artist Andrea Bowers’ “#sweetjane” tackles a highly publicized and equally disturbing 2012 rape case involving several star athletes of Steubenville, Ohio’s notorious “Big Red” football team. In the fall of 2012, the tightly knit small town community of 19,000 experienced national scrutiny after several star players of the illustrious “Big Red” raped a 16-year-old girl from a neighboring city. Adding to the media interest of the case, the victim has remained anonymous, only referred to as “Jane Doe.” The star player’s celebratory tweets accompanied by Facebook posts and pictures have made the ordeal national news and means for examination of the quintessential “small town” culture in which Bowers herself is familiar with. Having grown up in a city similar to Steubenville in terms of connectivity and tradition, she uses her understanding of the esoteric subculture to ask questions about the progress women have truly made in society in relation to their bodies and their safety. Through video installations, illustrations, written statements and photography, Bowers goes on to explore the troubling nature of this case and its correlation to the perceived “rape culture” of America. “#sweetjane” will be viewable concurrently at two locations: The Pomona College Museum of Art (Jan. 21- March 28) and the Nichols Gallery located at Pitzer College (Jan. 21- April 13). (Kim Johnson)
The Pomona College Museum of Art, 333 N. College Way., Claremont, (909) 621-8283; www.pomona.edu/museum.
Nichols Gallery, 1050 N. Mills Ave, Claremont, (909) 621-8000; www.pitzer.edu/galleries.