The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

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February 11, 2024
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Visiting Artist Sammy Chong Complements New Student Art Collections

Sammy+Chongs+exhibition+piece
Ellen Chen
Sammy Chong’s exhibition piece

The first thing you see when you walk through the door is the artist. He has the head of a pig, with “猪” the Chinese character for pig, written in gold on the snout. He is painting, hands stained tan by his palette and brush, alongside two figures, presumably his parents. One has the face of a horse, the other a dragon. Together, the three make a trio of anthropomorphized Chinese zodiacs. This is Sammy Chong.
The Mercy Gallery’s latest exhibition “Sammy Chong: Removed” explores capitalism, animal rights, immigration, diversity, heritage, and above all, identity.
“The drawings and paintings displayed in this exhibition are the result of an inner necessity to make sense of the displacement many groups of people and animals are experiencing now. They have been REMOVED from their homes because of human agency,” Mr. Chong said in his exhibition statement.
Mr. Chong is an interdisciplinary artist and professor at Boston College. A Chinese immigrant from South America and a self-proclaimed animal lover, Mr. Chong’s artwork is shaped by experience — an experience, the exhibition is indeed. Colored pencil and graphite drawings depict animals in parody of corporate advertising. Bright, colorful oil paintings illustrate Mr. Chong’s “fellow immigrants” with symbols of their native cultures for heads, frozen in action as they work over a background collage of photos.
“I have a few curatorial goals as the Director of The Mercy; to support the Visual Arts Department’s commitment to DEI work by exhibiting artists that come from one or more traditionally underrepresented groups … to bring in artists whose work contributes to the important conversations we’re having about issues important to our community … and show artwork that hopefully our students find exciting, inspiring, and even fun!” Mx. Ryan, Director of the Mercy Gallery, said. “I think Sammy’s work fully meets all those things.”
Students are also delving into identity and DEI in art with their own exhibited works, which are revealed right outside the exhibition, particularly through class projects.
“The theme of our project was to present a social justice topic using illustrations to convey our messages. I chose to do Latin-American immigration because, as a Mexican-American, this has been a topic I have been very passionate about and am proud to depict in my art,” Victoria Kenton ’25 said.
Graphic designs on topics from police brutality to climate change cover the wall. Beyond that are ceramics, photography, paintings, drawings, prints, and fashion. The Richmond Arts Center is saturated with color and the diverse passions of artists, be they sophomore students or college professors.
“Art is an amazing tool to express your emotions through a story that can be shared with others,” Kenton said.

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