Happily ever after the breakup

The idea for a new exhibit at the Marshall Student Center’s Centre Gallery was born from a relationship that went wrong and lacked closure, said Kimberly Adams, who graduated from USF in 2009 with a master’s degree in painting and who helped bring the exhibit to the gallery.

“I had a relationship that went south and I didn’t have a lot of closure from it. I had some ideas in mind of what I wanted to do,” she said. “Then, I decided to make it a group exhibition – getting some close friends and some not so close friends who had similar ideas as me.”

The artwork that will hang at the gallery for “A Fairy Tale Gone Wrong” next week is inspired by the experiences felt from relationships that crumble.

Adams knew one day she would want to create something from her experience, so she kept mementos with the idea planted in her head. Once she graduated, she felt it was time to do something with them.

“There were letters that I never sent, some e-mails, and I kept them all along and in the back of my mind, I knew I would do something with them someday,” she said.

These are the components of her personal section of the exhibit, “Letters to Lovers.”

“These letters that have been handwritten or printed out, some will be sealed and some will be out for people to read,” Adams said. “The envelopes won’t be addressed to anybody because when people sit down at the desk, I want them to feel like it could very well be their letter that they never sent.”

Rather than keep the exhibit a solo project, however, Adams wanted there to be a variety of work. So five others, including two USF alumnae Jaime Carrejo and April Childers, joined Adams.

“We all experience breakups and relationships in different ways. I wanted some diversity,” Adams said.

Her collaboration with the other artists resulted in breakup boxes full of articles from old romances.

The boxes in the exhibit are for anyone wanting to get rid of anything that serves as a reminder of a bad breakup or a relationship that didn’t have closure.

Visitors can leave their own mementos at the exhibit.

“Most of the boxes are focused on relationships and things that people hold onto and people want to let go of to get a clean break,” Adams said. “The boxes can be shoeboxes, cardboard boxes or (students) can make them. They should make a list of contents and/or stories behind those contents.”

Students are encouraged to participate even if they do not have any memorabilia.

“If you don’t have any leftover belongings but would still like to participate … make one up,” Adams said. “Students can break up with a bad habit, parents, a friend or a pet.”

People can drop off boxes in Centre Gallery next week, but Adams said she prefers boxes be submitted by Friday. She said items will not be returned because this is an ongoing project.

“Some people have contacted me because they have large items that cannot be boxed. For example, a girl e-mailed me and said she had a large teddy bear,” Adams said.

Another portion of the exhibit by Jessica Marquez allows students to interact and write stories and memories on catalog cards at the gallery to become part of her work.

Cheri Lee Charlton, a participating artist, will give an artist lecture at 6 p.m. on March 5 prior to the opening reception of “A Fairy Tale Gone Wrong” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

If you are interested in donating a box or have questions about the exhibit, contact Adams at kladams@mail.usf.edu.