With this mixed-media installation, Kelli Rae Adams calls attention to the magnitude and urgency of the student debt crisis in the U.S. Utilizing several hundred handmade ceramic bowls, a quantity of steadily accumulating coins and a wall-hanging triptych composed of dollar bills, Adams renders legible the physical volume of this collective burden while also shining light on the insidious practical and psychological implications of educational debt.
The centerpiece of this exhibition, entitled Forever in Your Debt, is a material data visualization of this issue. Using the pottery wheel, Adams has crafted a quantity of ceramic bowls sufficient to hold the average individual student debt — approximately $37,000 — in the form of coins. Through the mechanism of the resulting installation, she invites visitors to contribute their accumulated household change in exchange for an eventual return in the form of one of the vessels, which they will receive once the project has been fully realized.
If you have a quantity of accumulated change you are willing to contribute to the installation, please bring it with you to the exhibition site. All contributions of change are welcome and greatly appreciated. Contributions of mixed change sufficient to fill a bowl will be reciprocated by the artist; those who contribute this minimum amount will receive one of the bowls from the installation once the project is complete, after an estimated time period of one to two years.
Image info: Forever in Your Debt, 2019 (photo credit: Kelli Rae Adams)