Cadman exhibition explores barriers, diversity in college life

In her exhibition, “Institutional Barrier,” on display at Cadman Art Gallery, Senior Li Wang explores the barriers college students face while pursuing their education.

“College is this place where many people come in but they don’t always get out,” Wang said.

She went on to define “getting out” as receiving a diploma upon graduation.

Wang said she felt a personal affection for her late sorority sister, Rebecca Fulcher, who died in a car accident last semester, leaving Wang with the idea that Fulcher never “got out.”

“You will see in one of the pieces, my sorority sister Becky,” Wang said. “She never got to get out of this institution, but I will be showing her in my artwork to remind them of her.”

Wang, a psychology major, is pursuing minors in art and design and women studies.

The exhibit, on display until Oct. 20, is her first experience with showing her work.

Wang comes from a diverse background, and she said she wants her work to reflect that diversity. Starting in May, she photographed groups of students that represent different populations in society.

Her favorite piece in her collection, “Laiba,” is a photograph she took of a Muslim student. She said she feels Laiba encompasses the definition of diversity.

“Laiba wears a hijab, and because of her cultural difference, she does get discriminated [against],” Wang said. “For 20 years, her parents and her have dreamt that she would graduate and walk across the stage to receive her diploma.”

Wang encourages students to view her work with an open mind. She advises them not to judge a book by its cover, but to read the descriptions below each piece and get to know her subjects better.

“Diversity is everywhere,” said Wang. “For my artwork, I also included gender pronouns in some of the piece’s description, because it’s important to be aware of the diversity that is around us.”

Sara Clifton, coordinator of campus programs and Cadman Art Gallery supervisor, said all students are encouraged to apply to show their work at the gallery.

Students can apply online at the Cadman Art Gallery web page.