Phillips Academy, Andover in Andover, Massachusetts (USA) was the second venue for the mosaic installation Victorious Secret created by visual artist Angela Lorenz in 2012-2013. This set of three triptychs, encompassing nine panels in all, is based upon actual ancient mosaics from 300 AD still in their original location in Piazza Armerina, Sicily (Italy). They were on view from April 4 – June 15, 2014.
While these mosaics of female athletes made out of buttons are dedicated to Title IX, a law created in the United States in 1972 to address inequality in women’s university sports programs and other discrimination, at Phillips Academy they appropriately celebrated 40 years of coeducation as well. The mosaic installation was part of a larger exhibition celebrating coeducation, titled “What Artists Study” that featured eight alumni artists from the first decade of coeducation.
Victorious Secret and the other works were exhibited in the Steinbach Gallery, a main thoroughfare in the principal building on campus, George Washington Hall. It leads from the student mail room and lounge area through to the two campus theaters and main administration offices, a heavily trafficked venue. The exhibition was inaugurated during the Coed@40 Spring Forum in April 2014, one of many events devoted to reflection upon the forty years since Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy merged in 1973. An exhibition catalog, “What Artists Study: Distinguishing Abbot Academy’s Legacy in Coeducation” features essays on the history of hands-on learning at Abbot Academy, a girls’ school founded in 1828, and the experiences of eight alumni artists regarding the impact of education on their work and creative process.
Lorenz gave a public talk on Victorious Secret and the other works in the show, together with fellow alumni artist and Phillips Academy art instructor Thayer Zaeder, one of several talks by artists over the course of the spring. The artist is grateful for the support of many departments and employees of Phillips Academy, Andover that aided in the installation, promotion and funding of the exhibition and related events, especially the Abbot Academy Association, the Phillips Academy Art Department, the Office of Academy Resources, the Coed@40 Committee and the Addison Gallery of American Art.
Photos of and links to Victorious Secret events, activities and press:
At the opening of What Artists Study. Left to right: Chris Fitch ’83, Thayer Zaeder ’83, Head of School John Palfrey, Angela Lorenz ’83, PA art instructor Peg Harrigan, and visitor Theodore Jyck.