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Simple Gestures Installation, Kay Willens, Artist, 1995
May 4 Collection -- Boxes 112 and 112A
Prepared by Dominique D. Williams, August 7, 1995; Updated January 2012.
1 cubic foot: 2 half-size record storage boxes, 12th floor.
Scope and Content
Kay Willens donated this material to the Kent State University Archives in May 1995.
Kay Willens' installation was chosen in a juried competition as part of the 25th anniversary of May 4th. She is an associate professor and chair of the Art and Art History Department at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH.
The installation was in the main gallery of the Art Building at Kent State from April 5th-May 10th, 1995. The walls of the gallery were covered with packs of perennial flower seeds held up by clothespins. Ten types of notecards were placed on tables in the room; four of them having pictures of the students killed, the other six having different scenes from May 4th.
Those entering the exhibit were asked to write some thoughts about May 4th and/or the exhibit, on these cards, of their choice. They could then replace the seeds with the notecards. It was hoped that these seeds would be planted as a type of ongoing memorial.
In this collection are the responses left by those who entered the exhibit. These have been separated by the picture on the notecard. Also included are Kay Willens' proposal, correspondence from Kay Willens to Nancy Birk, color slides of the exhibit and leftover seed packs.
May 4 Collection -- Box 112
Folder -- Contents
- Kay Willens' proposal, Color slides of exhibit, Follow-up letter from Kay Willens to Nancy Birk
- Responses on notecards with picture of Bill Schroeder
- Responses on notecards with picture of Jeff Miller
- Responses on notecards with picture of Sandy Scheuer
- Responses on notecards with picture of Allison Krause
- Responses on notecards with picture of a few soldiers with guns
- Responses on notecards with picture of the burned ROTC building
- Responses on notecards with picture of a few soldiers with gas masks on facing each other
- Responses on notecards with picture of a line of soldiers with guns
- Responses on notecards with picture of a line of soldiers going up Blanket Hill; tear gas being thrown
- Responses on notecards with picture of a line of soldiers facing Taylor Hall; tear gas being thrown
- Responses on more than one card, with different pictures, taped together
- Envelope containing packets of seeds