The month of April was made brighter when the Swartley Art Gallery showcased “Stay Gold” featuring the gorgeous works of alumna Christina May Ho ’11. Christina has received her B.F.A. and is currently finishing her master’s degree in public humanities at Brown University, where she has gained recognition for her artistic endeavor. For “Stay Gold,” Christina shared her luminous paintings as well as her mesmerizing layering techniques with D-E community.
Christina remarked on the exhibition as follows: “Stay Gold” is a term in popular culture that reminds one to remain pure, uncorrupted, true to oneself, to not conform to what society dictates, and to march to the beat of one’s own drum. Ironically, gold and, by extension, success, is the very thing that can cause people to stray from maintaining self-integrity— It is gold itself that distracts from “Staying Gold.” This saying is derived from the Robert Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which expresses that all good things must come to an end. Accepting that this is true, it encourages one to embrace the brevity of a ﬂeeting experience and to live in the moment. Through this interpretation, “Staying Gold” may alternatively express an unwillingness to let go of good things, the nostalgia for innocence and childhood, or an attempt to hold on to what we know is terminal, which can be a problematic in a world where time only moves forward.”
She continued, “Through the creation of these pieces I have tried to emulate the bipolar aura of gold and unpack its layers upon layers of meaning and substance. These layers are translated into a material form quite literally through the technique of layering that is central to the aesthetic of all of my work. Through the use of color combinations, experimentation with mediums, and manipulation of materials, I have tried to explore and explain the many personalities of gold, highlight its ﬂaws, celebrate its signiﬁcance, and allude to the illusion that is gold.”
“Stay Gold” opened with a lunchtime reception for Christina together with D-E Upper School students, and concluded with an evening reception and artist talk for alumni, parents, faculty/staff and friends. For both events, Christina was joined by her extremely proud family including siblings (and current D-E students) Rebecca Ho ’17 and Jackson Ho ’21.
…I have tried to explore and explain the many personalities of gold, highlight its ﬂaws, celebrate its signiﬁcance, and allude to the illusion that is gold.