The Four Fridas

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The real Frida Kahlo.

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Professor Kelli Sinner loading kilns dressed as Frida Kahlo.

As we paraded around campus, it was fun to bring so many smiles and laughter to those who saw us.  — Professor Kelli Sinner

The real Frida Kahlo–known for her flamboyant wardrobe–would have approved.  On Halloween, four faculty of the School of Visual Arts paid homage to this surrealist artist by donning flowered headpieces, colorful shawls, and beaded necklaces.  In addition to teaching their courses, the four Fridas also passed out candy to students in the department and on campus.

This fun event was started by art history professor Anna Arnar.  She first dressed up as Frida in 2007.  Arnar recalls, “For a few years I was a lone Frida, but I decided that it would be more enjoyable to be a whole troupe of Fridas as she had so many different identities and looks.” Since then, several different faculty–and one art history student–have joined in the annual fun.

When asked, “Why Frida?,” Arnar commented that she has very little in common with Frida Kahlo other than her devotion to art,  However, Halloween is about the joy of the masquerade. “The critic Mikhail Bakhtin once wrote about the power of the carnivalesque where peasants become nobles and vice versa. In other words, the everyday order of things are momentarily upended and the element of play and the unexpected are ushered in.”

I think we can anticipate the Fridas will be playing in the school again next year.

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The four Fridas passing out candy to students in the class, Modernism/Postmodernism. From left to right: Loretta Cantieri, Kelli Sinner, Loral Iverson-Hannaher, and Anna Arnar.  Also pictured is student Ceymione Herbert, who is dressed as Pop Art.

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