News & Announcements Blog / News

Alumni Joint Exhibition: A Coming Of Age

A joint Hollister Gallery exhibition – A Coming Of Age – features the work of two talented Babson graduates: LaShonda Cooks ’10 (The Pursuit of Womanhood) and Jamaal Eversley ’10 (Smells Like Teen Spirit). (Exhibition hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday–Friday, through October 26, 2017.) 

“LaShonda and I have always admired each other’s artwork,” says Eversley.  “After seeing each other at our five year reunion during Back to Babson 2015, we decided to trade our favorite paintings to each other. Loving the paintings so much sparked the conversation about producing a collaborative show.”

“This event also shows the Babson spirit of collaboration,” adds Cooks. “From the moment we entered Babson as first years, we are shown the importance of leveraging the strengths of the group for an overall product, project or business. In this instance, it’s Jamaal and I partnering with Daniel Krcmar, BabsonARTS, Babson’s Alumni Relations, Magazine and PR teams (even Babson alums) to create a collaborative event that finds the common thread between our art, Babson and the communities that share a love for the arts and Babson. This event will show the power of teamwork and the positive affects it has on the community.”

The Pursuit of Womanhood

LaShonda Cooks ’10

Cooks combines her paintings with text collage to create a large mixed media installation depicting her favorite female identifying influencers and icons from familial to famous. “As a woman myself who has struggled with sense of self in a world that imposes its view on how an ideal woman should look, walk, smell and speak, I found solace in painting women who both define and defy these rules,” she says. “It’s so empowering to be the beholder. My hope is that sense of empowerment is passed onto the viewers who may see themselves inside my paintings living inside and outside of society’s norms and loving it. As an artist, my goal is to question, explore and celebrate identity by examining, dissecting and debunking stereotypes.”

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Jamaal Eversley ’10

Eversley’s bold paintings integrate influences of Geometric Abstraction and Pop Art with the West Indian palette of Barbados. His compositions are driven by the fictional characters that inhabit them: the focal character in this series is Eversley’s alter ego, Spencer Ward, a nerd in pursuit of love. “My goal is to make a rich, exciting, colorful art and use it as a vehicle to bring out the power of relatability,” he said. “Therefore every color chosen is to express a bold color harmony. I want to grab your attention, spark emotions and stir a response in order to unlock the mind and arouse the viewer’s youthful side to take charge. My hope is to help each of us reunite with the innocence and freedom of our inner child and allow our imaginations to soar. This is why I am constantly creating to spur the juices of creative genius and put the “F” meant for “Fun” back into Fine Arts.”

Why A Coming of Age?

“High school teens are in impressionistic stages in life,” says Eversley. “The bold women that LaShonda will be painting have left huge impressions on her sense of womanhood. The exhibit is both a reflection on how her own sense of self was curated and continues to expand and an overall examination of how women are depicted in society. My art is influenced by high school life which is when the majority of us go through many changes and growing pains. The passageway to becoming an adult. This is mindset we want the viewer to enter as they see the show in Hollister Gallery.”

Scholarship for Teen Artists

Eversley hopes to give half of the proceeds from each painting sold during the reception and exhibition to a scholarship fund for a high school senior to use for college needs (including tuition, books, etc.). “The scholarship is one that I am personally launching and will be called The Bold and Beautiful Scholarship,” he says. “The scholarship presents an opportunity for high school seniors in Massachusetts to show and develop their personal brand through creating art while competing to win resources to further their education.” (More about this scholarship can be found on his website.)