The Weight of This: Femininity and Sexual Assault on Campus

September 7th, 2019 – February 7th, 2020

Tina Tully, Woman (Edition III), 2019, wood and plaster, 36 x 36 inches (approximate)

In celebration of the 50th Year of Women at Union College, the Wikoff Student Gallery will be producing exhibitions this year which focus on female-empowering themes. A topic which is of concern to young women on Union’s campus is that of sexual assault. This fall, student artists Lilith Haig (Class of 2021) and Tina Tully (Class of 2021) seek to explore perceptions of femininity and sexual assault in their exhibition, The Weight of This, which will be on view September 7, 2019 through February 7, 2020.

In a collaboration with the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, the opening reception for this exhibition on the evening of Wednesday, October 23rd, will include the Annual Sadock Women in the Arts Lecture, featuring artist/activist Traci Molloy. The following evening, Thursday, October 24th, the exhibiting student artists hope to open up a College-wide dialogue about the treatment of women on this campus during a Forum Discussion moderated by Molloy, while creating a safe space for all students to express their views.

“As female students at a historically men’s college and in a patriarchal society, we have both created Scholars’ Projects exploring feminism and sexual assault. Through the integration of sculpture, collage, and printmaking, we have created pieces that portray our opinions on the female figure and on sexual assault.

Lilith’s project combines the ancient Japanese form of printmaking called mokuhanga, or woodblock printing, with haiku comprised of quotes from sexual assault perpetrators on Union’s campus. These haiku are paired with simple imagery which represent the female, ‘voiceless’ perspective. For the exhibition, Lilith created a site-specific mural on top of which she taped original prints. The viewer is invited to interact with the artwork and take a print, thus ‘stripping’ the female figures in the mural.

Tina’s project is a group of plaster and wood sculptures that represent abstract versions of the female figure. The project is an attempt to challenge the way that people view a woman’s body, because the sculptures do not show the typical, depictions of a woman’s body, such as breasts and butt. However, the female figure is still recognizable, and gains strength, which represents the power that a woman has independent from her reproductive features.

In light of recent events regarding sexual assault at Union College, we think that this is a pertinent time to show this artwork and hold a dialogue about the treatment of women on our campus and sexual assault. We want to create a safe space that our fellow students at Union can find empowering.”

– Lilith Haig and Tina Tully

Sadock Lecture is sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. Additional funding generously provided by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, the Mandeville Gallery, Schaffer Library, UNITAS, and the departments of English and Visual Arts.

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual Assault and Harassment: The exhibition and artwork images may contain triggering and/or offensive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse are some topics mentioned in this exhibition. If you feel triggered, there are resources on and off campus that can assist. Please visit the Title IX website for more information: 

Annual Sadock Women in the Arts Lecture and Reception: Traci Molloy

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

5:00 – 6:30 PM

At the Nott Memorial

*Lecture will begin at 5:30 pm


Forum: The Weight of This, moderated by Traci Molloy

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

5:00 – 6:30 PM

Nott Memorial

*Casual buffet dinner will be available starting at 4:45 pm; forum will begin at 5:15 pm