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College Art Exhibition to Explore Diversity in Advertising


An exhibition titled “Drawn to Diversity: Exploring Advertising,” created by Alfred University students, will be displayed from Aug. 31-Sept. 10 at two different locations in Cortland, N.Y.

Presented by SUNY Cortland’s Multicultural Life Office in collaboration with Main Street SUNY Cortland’s Beard Building Gallery, the artwork will be first shown from Monday, Aug. 31, until Friday, Sept. 4, in the Beard Building Gallery in downtown Cortland at 9 Main St., and then from Saturday, Sept. 5, until Thursday, Sept. 10, in Dowd Gallery on the campus.

SUNY Cortland Distinguished Service Professor Samuel Kelley, whose academic specialty is communication studies, will discuss the importance of the portrayal of diversity in advertising during the opening reception at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Beard Building Gallery. The reception and exhibitions are both free and open to the public.

Each year, Alfred University students choose a topic that examines expressions of diversity in the media arts.

“Alfred University students produced this exhibit when they observed that a local supermarket’s Black history display merely featured boxes of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and Uncle Ben’s Rice,” said Noelle Chaddock Paley, SUNY Cortland’s interim director of multicultural life. “This exhibit was a response to the need for education in our supermarkets and the public at large. Putting a new spin on diversity education, this program uncovers the truth behind many common food products and advertising campaigns. The exhibit features advertising posters that bring new meaning to ‘food for thought.’

“I think we as a community get really comfortable seeing particular images and don’t think to challenge them,” said Paley, who also lectures in Africana studies and philosophy at SUNY Cortland. “The students at Alfred produced brilliant work that really made me stop and think. I knew I had to bring this exhibit to Cortland. I am even more excited that we get to share this exhibit with the Cortland community at large.”

The Beard Building Gallery is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (607) 753-4270. The Dowd Galley is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment with Dowd Gallery Director Andrew Mount at (607) 753-4216 or

The Beard Building Gallery is a collaboration between SUNY Cortland, the Cultural Council of Cortland County and the Cortland Downtown Partnership.

For more information, contact Paley at (607) 753-2336 or

supermarket ads in art exhibit