Arts & Culture

Exhibition shows a lot of soul

1 min read

Ever wonder what a soul looks like? You have 30 chances to see a picture of one at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Gutman Library through Feb. 15. Hundreds more chances if you look at the related book, “Soul” (Reg Vardy Gallery/Satellite Arts, 2007), or if you go to the Web site

The Gutman exhibit is a selection of drawings from the Soul Project, in part the brainchild of exhibit curator Edward P. Clapp, Ed.M. ’07. The project’s depictions of the ineffable (now over 700, from more than 50 countries) express “the huge (global) connections we can make with a single artistic gesture,” said Clapp.

The exhibit’s images, in chronological order by artist, range from a seeming turtle under cheese-puff clouds and a scrawled sun (artist, United States, age 4) to a broomlike cascade of lines (artist, United Kingdom, age 82).

Illustrations of souls — humorous, haunting, puzzling — take inspiration from nature (cows, a spider, a bird) or everyday objects (teacups, boots). They are realistic pictures (a nude, a woman with two canes); self-parodies (a fat man smoking, a metal-clad face); and expressive abstractions built from swirls, grids, and labyrinths.