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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Creating a community of respect

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Photo by Photo by Josh Gleason

“Respect“ is on display in the Wright Gallery in Langford Building A until Oct. 29.

 

Air Force veteran and artist Jenn Hassin encourages the community to reflect on the meaning of respect in her newest art exhibit.

“Respect” is on display in the Wright Gallery in Langford Building A until Oct. 29, featuring five separate pieces. Hassin rolls up handmade paper made from recycled military uniforms to create her art. The interactive piece “Intention” allows visitors to write what respect means to them, roll their paper up and add it to the piece.

Hassin said she hopes her art will encourage others to live by a set of principles and work together with others.

“It seems as though core values and respecting one another, no matter what your personal differences may or may not be, is kind of an afterthought [for many people],” Hassin said. “I wanted to take this opportunity of exhibiting my work and push this idea of respect, along with other core values, to the student body. I wanted to bring a platform for students to engage and think about respect for a moment.”

Hassin said writing is an important part of her life, and she wanted to create something that others could contribute to.

“I find that the practice of sitting down and putting my thoughts, wants, worries and wishes down on paper makes that invisible thought something tangible,” Hassin said. “By having individuals add to the piece, my intention was to bring this practice up to those who participated.”

Hassin was a dental technician in the United States Air Force. She attended St. Edward’s University and was working to become a dentist when she discovered her interest in art.

“I took a ceramics class and instantly fell in love with the fact that I could take mud and then turn it into artwork,” Hassin said. “I was a natural at working with the material and decided to switch my major to art after that semester. I knew it was the right way for me to be able to make work with the intention of making a difference in this world that we live in.”

Hassin’s other works have also centered around the military and government. Her piece titled “Letters of Sacrifice” is made of rolled condolence letters and is currently displayed in the Pentagon.

“When my work is around people that are directly related to the subject matter, I find that it can feel as though the work is being digested exactly the way I want it to be,” Hassin said. “I am pleased that it has been in front of the people that actually make decisions about the war. I hope that they walked away and thought about it after.”

Wright Gallery director Cecilia Giusti is the head of the gallery’s curating committee, which meets once every other week to determine what will be displayed in the gallery.

“[Hassin] was ideal to have her art shown here at A&M,” Giusti said. “Through her husband, who’s an Aggie, she was very engaged with A&M and knows about the traditions of the Corps and all the support we [have for] veterans.”

Hassin hosted a series of workshops in July where volunteers, including Corps of Cadets members, helped shred the uniforms to make the paper used in her art pieces.

When the exhibit opened on Sept. 11, about 100 people attended and contributed to “Intention.”

“[The exhibit] meant a lot because I know what I felt to watch [family members] leave and then be gone for months or get injured and come back, and their lives are forever changed,” said College of Architecture administrative coordinator Shanielle Veazie said. “I felt like it kind of put us together at that moment because we all got to define what respect was to us, and everyone had a different definition, but it was just empowering to see that it meant something to everybody.”

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  • The paper used in Jenn Hassin’s “Respect” exhibit is made by hand from recycled military uniforms.

    Photo by Photo by Josh Gleason
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