Emily Driscoll (American, 1982-2007); Untitled, 2006; gouache, pen and ink on paper. Courtesy of the Driscoll family. Photo by Kevin Kennefick, 2008. x1200

Emily Driscoll: Works

May 31, 2008 - October 5, 2008

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) presents the work of Emily Driscoll, Williams Graduate Class of 2005. The exhibition features a broad range of works on paper, the principal medium in which the artist worked. Driscoll’s works are meticulously rendered in wax, pen, ink, and marker. Many depict figures in a dream-like world, where the inhabitants have curious attachments, additions of apparatus or extra limbs, and are in the act of either putting on or removing the items as if they were accessories and clothing. The figures, in their curious garb, seem to be simultaneously connected to and bound to others in a collective drama that comments on the human condition. Driscoll’s work will be shown in the museum’s historic rotunda, beginning May 31, 2008.

In many ways, Driscoll’s work references the physical and emotional “baggage” that people carry with them. “My work is as much about self-fashioning as it is about relative identities,” wrote the artist. In 2007, Cate McQuaid, the arts writer for the Boston Globe, wrote, “There is a sense [in the drawings] that nothing is authentic here; there is no “real” self, only the social construction of one. It’s dark work, expertly made.”

Driscoll’s work has been shown in Voice: A National Exhibition of Work by Women in Contemporary Art, an exhibition juried by Kara Walker at the Providence Art Club. She was awarded a solo show at the Bromfield Gallery in Boston, Mass. in January 2007. This exhibition, entitled “Attachment,” was curated b Nick Capasso, the curator of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park. In addition, Driscoll has had exhibitions at artSPACE@16 Gallery (Somerville, MA), Greenlease Gallery (Kansas City, MO), LynnArts, Inc. (Lynn, MA), Studio 54 (NYC), Wilde Gallery (Williamstown, MA), the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts (Pittsfield, MA), the Contemporary Art Center (North Adams, MA), and the Williams Club (NYC).

In 2005, Driscoll was awarded the Berkshire Art Association Fellowship and the Hubbard J. Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship. After graduation, Driscoll spent a year teaching art at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in her hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts, where she became involved with the local art scene, keeping studio space at Lynn Arts and volunteering at Raw Art Works. After traveling extensively in Ireland, Italy, and India she moved, in December 2006, to New York City with partner Walker Waugh, Williams Class of 2002, to use her fellowship and pursue her dreams of opening a gallery and studio space.

“Art was definitely a passion of hers,” said Professor Amy Podmore, one of Driscoll’s studio art professors. “Knowing and working with Emily was a real honor, not only because she was smart and talented, but because she wasn’t easily satisfied with her work and strove for the highest and most honest level while developing her artistic voice. Emily asked the probing questions and put in tremendous studio time, inspiring those around her.”

An exceptional artist, dedicated friend and community-builder, and beloved member of the Williams community, Emily Driscoll was fatally hit by a car on November 16, 2007 while walking home to her Brooklyn apartment. Driscoll’s family has established the Emily Driscoll Foundation for Arts and Athletics, which combines her two passions. Emily Driscoll: Work will be on view at WCMA through July 13, 2008.