An exhibition by Ghana-born artist Clara Nartey graces the walls on the second floor of Edward P. Evans Hall this fall as part of the Yale School of Management’s ongoing effort to impact the experience of those studying in and visiting Evans Hall through the iconography within the building.
“The Joy of Living: an exhibition by Clara Nartey” was hung in Evans Hall on August 7. Nartey has described the work as an attempt to “capture the fleeting moments of joy in everyday life.” The work was inspired by her experience living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nartey exhibition is the second created as part of Yale SOM’s effort to diversify iconography in Evans Hall. Established through the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Artsy Fund at Yale SOM is bringing to Evans Hall artworks from underrepresented artists that depict a diverse range of people and experiences. The fund also installed a work by Romare Bearden in the Student Lounge.
The Evans Hall Art Committee, a six-member body, selects and procures the art. Dean Kerwin Charles appointed Heidi Brooks, senior lecturer of organizational behavior, as chairperson in 2022.“Our mission of educating leaders for business and society inspires me to pay attention to the way people experience the micro-society that is Yale SOM,” Brooks said. “The lived experience of the iconography is a great way to help people see others and feel seen. I’m delighted to have the chance to impact the way people experience Yale SOM and each other through art. I hope that the new works inspire and evoke rich thinking and conversation about the way we engage with each other and in the world.”
Committee member Michael Myers, senior associate director of inclusion and diversity, said that an underrepresented student once told him that, while architecturally beautiful, the interior of Evans Hall also felt cold and uninviting.
“As someone who works in the diversity and equity space, I believe that art has the power to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment,” Myers said. “I hope that these works of art will help make the building feel more inviting and accessible to everyone. Art can be a powerful tool for creating a more equitable society, and I am proud to be a part of this effort.”
Committee member Lesley Heller, an art consultant and former gallerist, said that seeing culturally diverse depictions will make students feel more comfortable. “Clara Nartey’s work is dynamic, personal, and uplifting,” Heller said. “I believe she is a very talented, early-career artist.”
A self-taught artist, Nartey was born in Accra, Ghana, and came to the U.S. for her master’s degree. She has developed a unique style that meshes mark-making using threads with digital painting, machine embroidery, and quilting. Her works have been exhibited widely.