This week through Friday, Jan. 29, the Honors College is hosting a photography exhibit titled “What I Thought I Saw” in the lobby of the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Center. The theme of the gallery, according to descriptions provided by creators Peta Owens-Liston and Amy Albo, is the concept of first impressions and the process of shattering stereotypes. The Honors newsletter described the gallery as “challenging the way you look at things because sometimes you just don’t know.”
One might think that going into the gallery knowing that the photographs were created to challenge your perceptions of societal stereotypes might detract from the desired effect of the images. That is not the case. Owens-Liston and Albo considered every reaction imaginable, creating art that requires reflection from the audience. The artists further encourage this reflection by providing “first impression” cards for students to fill out and place alongside each image. This adds an interactive touch and requires viewers to consider how they perceive the image and thus how they will begin to change their perceptions of stereotypes in the real world.