"What I Kept"

To Display Special Objects From International Women

The Art Museum at the University of Memphis (AMUM) hosted a two-city exhibition called "What I Kept" in Memphis and Jackson, Tenn. The Jackson exhibition ran until May 8 in Varnell-Jones Hall at UofM Lambuth. The Memphis campus exhibition closed July 15 at AMUM. 

In "What I Kept," international women living in Memphis and Jackson shared stories about cherished objects they brought from their countries of origin. The Lambuth exhibition had stories combined with photographs. Penny Dodds Karwacz, exhibition project manager and curator, worked with Amanda Ibrahim, president of the Lambuth Campus Multicultural Students Association on the project. At AMUM, objects were displayed with the stories and photographs, as well as a documentary called "In The Middle." Karwacz was project manager and curator for UofM's main campus exhibition, as well. Jason Miller, AMUM media specialist, was photographer for both exhibitions. 

"In The Middle" is a film by Annie Laurie Hunter, producer and director, Susan Naomi Nordstrom, producer and interview consultant, and Karwacz, producer. Hunter is a graduate student in the UofM department of communication and Nordstrom is an assistant professor in counseling. The film was made in collaboration with the "What I Kept" exhibition and featured stories of several women from all over the world who now make their home in Memphis. In the film, they discuss the objects they brought from their homelands that serve as reminders of the culture and people they left behind. 

In addition, Nordstrom published an interactive, companion book to the exhibition and documentary called 50 Pounds or Less. The book features Miller's photography. This exhibition was sponsored by the University of Memphis Student Activity Fee Fund. For more information, call 901.678.2224

Participants came from the following 33 countries:

Argentina
Chile**
China**
Colombia
Czech Republic*
Egypt**
France
Germany**
Ghana**
Greece **
Honduras
Hong Kong
India**
Indonesia**
Iran
Jamaica
Jerusalem
Kenya
Mexico **
Nigeria**
Pakistan**
Peru
Philippines**
Poland
Romania**
Russia**
Saudi Arabia**
South Sudan
Sudan**
Taiwan
The Netherlands
Trinidad and Tobago
Ukraine
*formerly Silesia, Bohemia ** Part of the Lambuth exhibition in Jackson