By Margarita Ivanova
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Everyone processes trauma in a different way, whether by suppressing it, or by speaking out to the world. Ryann Casey, an adjunct professor of art at Stockton University, is an advocate of the latter approach, and as such, has spent the past two years as guest curator preparing “Before, After: Reflections on the Armenian Genocide.” The show opened on September 7 and is set to display in Stockton University’s Art Gallery until October 17, both in person and virtually.
“The things that are hardest to talk about are the things we should be facing head on,” said Casey in an interview with the Mirror-Spectator. “Don’t allow it to hide behind you in the shadows affecting your work. Confront it because silence is the worst part about trauma.”
The exhibit consists of the works of 11 Armenian artists, each one possessing a unique Armenian cultural history within their families. Casey talked about her approach to curation, in which she emphasized that storytelling should always be in the voice of the people who represent the community.
“I look to make sure that it’s not someone who’s just helicoptering themselves into a community to take a photograph and then leave, because that’s sensationalization and exploitation in most cases,” she said.