Works by Ren Aguiar, Demetri Bouras, Mary Dondero, Samantha Jade, Kate Korra, Madeline Leahy, Virginia Mahoney and Kate Frazer Rego

Thursday, Feb. 2 to Thursday, Apr. 6, 2023

Opening Reception:
Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. 
Snow Date:  
Friday, Feb.10, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Gallery Hours: 
Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Beyond Binary features the work of Ren Aguiar, Demetri Bouras, Mary Dondero, Samantha Jade, Kate Korra, Madeline Leahy, Virginia Mahoney, and Kate Frazer Rego. They visit the ways the language of color, material transformation, subject matter, social codes and expectations, and identity shape their work. Seen together their works provide a series of overlapping frameworks through which we can investigate, consider and connect with our own sense of self.

It can be a challenging process to navigate the cultural expectations placed on us, but it is important to acknowledge that we are all multifaceted individuals. And as such, there are a multitude of ways to define and express who we are. Expressions of the self may or may not explicitly include ideas of gender. We are more than our biology, but we are also encouraged to identify ourselves as binary, either one thing or another.

Ren Aguiar’s multi-panel photography projects offer opportunities to explore the performative nature of gendered stereotypes. Aguiar examines the ways in which these expectations are constructed and reinforced, and challenges traditional notions of what it means to be male or female.

Demetri Bouras uses digital collage and distortion to probe the many facets of his own identity. By referencing a wide range of roles and relationships, Bouras is able to delve into the complexities of the self and to consider how different aspects of his identity intersect and influence one another.

Mary Dondero's series Lush Terrain is a body of work that deals with themes of feminine pleasure and the ways in which these concepts are defined and understood. By using non-objective imagery and experimenting with different materials and textures, Dondero creates work that is both visually appealing and evocative. The use of pastel colors and embedded and applied objects brings depth to the work, and a recognition of the fluid relationship between emotion and experience.

Samantha Jade asks the viewer to consider the ways in which a sense of self changes over time. By including journal entries, poetry, and illustration, Jade is able to create a multi-layered exploration of one’s thoughts and feelings, and the possibility to engage with these ideas on a deeper level. They are an invitation to consider the role of distance and perspective in self-understanding.

Kate Korra's work is centered on the theme of being part of the human family, and on the joy that comes from recognizing and celebrating this shared experience. Membership is our birthright. “I am human. I am me. We are we. We are as individual as I.”

Madeline Leahy has written that her work is a record of her attempts to unlearn oppressive structures that perpetuate socially coded expectations. Using printmaking, photography, and found materials allows her to experiment with different visual languages and textures to convey some of these ideas.

By creating sculptural relief forms that reference the body, Virginia Mahoney is able to create work that is visually expressive and resonant. Through the use of language, ambiguity, and personal, yet inclusive stories, Mahoney offers us opportunities to pay closer attention to the ways in which our own experiences and emotions are shaped by language and communication.

Kate Frazer Rego's work is focused on themes of self-exploration and the search for meaning and connection in a world that often prioritizes external and social engagement. When we are so often compelled to engage, how do we reach those quiet spaces? Her work and writing speak to ideas of longing; for connections that extend beyond the immediacy of social engagement; for something less fleeting; for something more enduring.

These artists are all exploring various themes related to identity, society, and personal experience through their work. They employ a range of media to express these ideas. Some focus on issues of gender and social expectations, while others delve into their own personal histories and emotions. Some use language and text as a way to clarify or complicate their ideas or rely on conceptual abstraction to convey an essence of the self.

Please note that Bristol Community College students and community members who are attending indoor events must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, as defined by the policy, or have a valid accommodation for COVID-19. For more information, please visit

For more information, please visit, or please contact Director of the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery Kathleen Hancock by email at