Hobart and William Smith Colleges - “Social Biology” Art Exhibit
The HWS Update
Faculty, staff and students attend the "Social Biology" art exhibit by Jess Ramtahal '20, which explores the intersection of race and gender.

“Social Biology” Art Exhibit

Ramtahal Jessica 1Africana Studies and English major Jess Ramtahal ’20 presented an art exhibit titled “Social Biology,” which explored the intersection of race and gender. Ramtahal’s collection of paintings were on display in Bartlett Theatre on Friday, May 3.

The original work uses various mediums, including acrylic paint and graphite, to subvert normative conceptions of gender. In particular, Ramtahal says the art considers how “race factors into the identification as a woman.”

Ramtahal’s artistic goal is to “dismantle the colonized mindset we have of race only existing as two opposing sides of the spectrum,” she says. Through an evening of examination and conversation, Ramtahal hopes “fellow friends, peers and educators left the event feeling like their standard viewpoints were challenged and continue to ask questions that attack what they believe make up a “woman.’”

On campus, Ramtahal is a member of America Reads and Sankofa: the Black Student Union. As a recipient of the Lillian E. Collins Endowed Scholarship, Ramtahal studied abroad in Galway, Ireland in 2018.

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