Mandeville Gallery to Open Exhibit Depicting Mid-19th Century Missionary and Teaching Lifestyles in Alaska

SCHENECTADY – The Mandeville Gallery, starting on January 29th and running until June 12th, will feature a new exhibition comprised of works by artists Gina Adams, Merritt Johnson, and Sonya Kelliher-Combs. Adams, Johnson, and Kelliher-Combs draw on history, cultural traditions, and archives, along with a strong belief in seeking alternative narratives, to create artworks that exist as a record of unconsidered perspectives and often unrecognized pasts. 

Gina Adams, Honoring Modern Manifest Destiny.1, 2021, oil and encaustic on ceramic porcelain, 9 inches (diam.), made at ICRC Artist-In-Residence, Courtesy of Accola Griefen Fine Art, New York City and the artist, photography by Aaron Paden, © Gina Adams 

For this exhibition, these artists were asked to create artwork in response to a collection of archival materials held in the college archives, which details the life of missionary and the first General Agent of Education for the territory of Alaska, Sheldon Jackson (Union College Class of 1855). The resulting artworks are featured alongside additional pieces by the three artists.

Merritt Johnson, When the world turned upside down long enough for Water to move and catch fire and wipe out the ink lines that divide, claim, kill and bury, 2021, oil and alkyd on panel, 36 x 48 inches, Courtesy of Accola Griefen Fine Art, New York City and the artist, © Merritt Johnson 

Located on the second floor of the Nott Memorial, The Mandeville Gallery is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm. All visitors to campus must wear surgical/ N95/ KN95/ KF94 masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit our website,

Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Small Secrets, Sheldon Jackson, 2021, printed cotton fabric, nylon thread, glass beads, human hair, dimensions variable, Courtesy of Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY and the artist, © Sonya Kelliher-Combs

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