Constructed Answer: Remembering May 4, 1970

Commemorative medallion created by Philadelphia College of Art students in response to the shootings that occurred on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University.

The response of the world to the deaths of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 at the hands of the National Guard of the United States was intense and deeply felt. Visual artists used the occasion to create works that honored the victims and, in some cases, criticized the situation that caused their deaths.

Over the years, many artists have sent the work they created in response to the event to the School of Art Collection at Kent State University to show support for the people immediately affected. Some of the notable artists who made and donated work in honor of the four Kent State students who lost their lives were Richard Hamilton, Ruth Gikow, Chuck Close and Nathan Oliveira.

In one special case, a group of students from the Philadelphia College of Art (now called The University of the Arts) made a commemorative medallion and companion case to honor the victims. Students in Olaf Skoogfors’ jewelry class—Susan Cabnet, Julia Claus, Christopher Darway, Jacqueline Ott, and Diane Marie Rosetti—designed and created the medallion. Jonathan Bonner and Johnny Jackson, who were students in Dan Jackson’s woodworking class, designed and carved a wooden case out of hickory to house the medallion. Julia Claus then traveled to Kent on June 7, 1970 and presented the piece to Robert I. White, who was president of Kent State University at that time.

In honor of the fiftieth commemoration of May 4, 1970, and in response to the commemorative medallion made by those students, the School of Art Collection and Galleries will present Constructed Answer, a contemporary metals exhibition inspired by the tragedy, trauma and violence that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. The exhibition features Boris Bally, Taehyun Bang, Marilyn da Silva, Holland Houdek, Keith Lewis, Michael Nashef, Marissa Saneholtz, Stephen Saracino, Mel Someroski and Renée Zettle-Sterling and was co-curated by Anderson Turner, director of the School of Art Collection and Galleries and Andrew Kuebeck, professor and area head of the Jewelry/Metals/Enameling program at Kent State.

The exhibition will be on view from January 24 to 28 with a reception on January 24 from 5:00 to 7:00pm. Other programming includes artist talks by Renée Zettle-Sterling on February 7 at 12:00pm. and Holland Houdek on February 28 at 2:00 pm. More information about the exhibition can be found at



School of Art Collections and Galleries
Center for the Visual Arts
325 Terrace Drive
Kent, Ohio 44242