MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Two Middlebury students have turned images from the popular photo messaging application Snapchat into an art exhibition at the Center Gallery at McCullough Student Center, running through January 24. Student curators Jingchen Jiang ’18 and Morag McKenzie ’16 printed dozens of images–composites of photos, captions and hand-drawn illustrations–and mounted them in grids throughout the gallery just outside Wilson Hall.
Jiang, who is currently studying abroad in London, said the idea for the exhibit came to her when her roommate shared her extensive collection of “snaps”–some by her and others by her friends. “I was impressed with how seriously she valued those artistic creations,” said Jiang, “and I realized that this unconventional type of art should be appreciated.”
Jiang says the Center Gallery is a place for the entire campus community to feel represented and that collecting snaps from students was an ideal way to increase engagement.
“I hope visitors smile, reflect, or ponder for a second or two in front the snaps,” said Jiang, “and appreciate the art as well as the treasurable memories behind it.”
Snapchat allows users to add their own artistic touches to photos through finger drawing. The results range from artistic to absurd, and occasionally both. McKenzie says the app gives people a way to express their creativity and add their own “flavor” to a photo. She said that she and Jiang solicited about 150 photos from Middlebury students. With the exception of a few images that were too personal and a few that did not print well, the vast majority of snaps made it into the exhibition.
The Snapchat exhibit at Center Gallery will be up through January 24, 2016.