Krannert reveals secrets

Dana Larson

Dana Larson

By Missy Smith

Everyone has a secret.

Our differences lie within these hidden aspects of our lives that remain hidden from even our closest friends and relatives.

But what happens when those secrets get out?

That is the question raised by the art exhibit coming to Krannert Art Museum on April 18, “Secrets Revealed = Secrets Shared.”

Anne Sautman, the director of education at Krannert, appeals to the students and the C-U community for help to answer this question.

“Basically we are asking people in the community to submit postcards that tell us their secrets,” Sautman said. “We’ve got quite a few.”

She said that this exhibit was initiated by a student, Jennifer Kitchka, junior in Fine and Applied Arts.

“Kitchka came up with the idea, and had the initiative to approach us with the idea, and then we got the idea approved,” Sautman said. “We decided it would be a really fun thing to do here.”

Thus “Secrets Revealed” was born.

The inspiration for this exhibit came from the popular Web site PostSecret, which has a similar concept, except the secrets are posted on the Internet for the entire world to see.

Although Frank Warren, creator of the Web site, has been contacted, the exhibit is independent of the Web site, Kitchka said.

According to the Web site, “PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.”

New secrets are posted every Sunday, and each batch of secrets is always different.

Each secret on the Web site produces a unique feeling, whether it be an intense sadness or just a few laughs.

One of the secrets is an off-centered photograph of a dancer’s arms, amidst a slightly faded black backdrop, with the words, “It hurts to jazz hands after I cut myself, but the show must go on,” written in white and red.

While another secret is a drawing of Big Ben in England, with the words, “When my Mum calls my cell phone, I know it’s her since I set the ring tone to sound like a cuckoo clock.”

It is with the expectation that people will be serious in admitting their deepest darkest secrets that a sense of comfort can be produced, Kitchka said.

“The point of the exhibit is to show people that we are not alone. It’s surprising and comforting to see that we are not alone in our secrets,” she said. “My hope is that writing the secrets down and mailing them to us will be a cathartic experience. I hope they feel released or freed from their secrets.”

Students should participate in this exhibit as a way of reintroducing a fun sense of art in their lives, which many students no longer have, Kitchka said.

“It can be a fun way of expressing yourself,” she said. “Plus, you never know whose secrets you may see at the exhibit; the secret about bulimia could be your neighbors. We need to be more aware of ourselves and our actions, but also of the needs of the people around us.”

All secrets are welcome, but Warren gives some ideas of what kind of secrets to send to the Web site, which can also be applicable for this exhibit.

“Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession or childhood humiliation,” Warren said on the Web site. “Reveal anything – as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before.”

Kitchka welcomes any and all secrets, just as long as they are true.

“I am particularly fond of colorful secrets. I can’t tell you exactly what I’m looking for, some make me smile and some just strike a chord within me. Sometimes I can’t even tell you why,” she said.

Even if you don’t send in a secret, it is still worthwhile to visit the exhibit, Kitchka said.

“Visiting the exhibit should be an emotional experience,” Kitchka said. “As you walk through and read them, it’s a different experience for each person depending on your personal history.”

The deadline to send in your secrets is April 4. They can be mailed or dropped off at the museum, or dropped in campus mail.

The Secrets Revealed exhibit opens April 18 and runs until May 13.