Katie Settel photo exhibit illustrates shuttered Mansfield Training School
The Armstrong Gallery in Bridgeport will host the world premiere of “(un)Forgotten,” a photo exhibition by Katie Settel that illustrates her journey into the Mansfield Training School, a shuttered mental institution on the Storrs campus of UConn, where her “lost” brother, Andy, spent most of his life until the facility was shut down in 1993 due to neglect and overcrowding.
The two-week exhibit opens Friday, Oct. 4, with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m., at the gallery, with Settel expected to be on hand.
Click here for more infotmation on the exhibit.
“(un)Forgotten” is described as “a photography-based exhibit about a common, shame-filled-secret: a ‘forgotten’ sibling.”
“I have a brother who is intellectually challenged and when he was born, doctors urged my parents to send him to an institution,” Settel said in a news release. “As a kid, I always knew of Andy, but had never met him and was always haunted by that — he was a family member we rarely spoke of. But what I’ve learned when sharing this story is that I’m not the only one with this lost history. There are still a ton of brothers and sisters in group homes that are alone because this secret endures.”
Through an artistic encounter of powerful images captured at the abandoned institution and their haunting contexts, Settel said she believes her photographs will draw viewers into an emotional space of awareness, understanding and possibly healing.
“I want to tell my story, show that there is no shame. I want to combine history with today’s acceptance and unite families so that they may become advocates for siblings who cannot speak for themselves,” she said.
Armstrong Gallery, 305 Knowlton St., Bridgeport. Friday, Oct. 4-Friday, Oct. 18. Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays 4-8 p.m. and by appointment. 917-922-8090.