Operation: Joy

An Exhibition on the pursuit of joy by Jennifer Williams.

October 30 -November 10, 2023

Kresge Art Center Gallery 101

My art practice is centered around my definitions of positivity, joy, and happiness while serving as an outlet for fun and excitement. OPERATION: JOY is an exhibition that explores the process of achieving joy in times of difficulty. 

Within my faith, I’ve learned that joy and happiness are not synonymous. Happiness is a feeling; Joy is a choice. Happiness is caused by almost any noun. Joy is contentment, regardless of circumstances. By choosing joy I maintain a “glass half full” mentality.  It has been a critical tool for myself as I move through life’s trials and tribulations. Joy is there as a way of survival when some of life’s moments want to bring me down.

When happiness is temporary, I use it as a catalyst for joy. My drawing, Child’s Homework, produced the feeling of happiness and innocence in me. In the upper right hand corner of the piece, you see homework with a failing grade. The criticism of the teacher combined with the text, “see me after class,” is so small compared to the vibrant, bright rainbow that’s overarching the entire paper. The delightful colors are more intriguing compared to the teacher’s criticism.  I consider this as a self-portrait of my practice of overlooking negativity to live a joyful life. 

In the same way that my art has helped me achieve joy, I’m hoping it does the same for my viewers. I want my viewers to experience happiness in this exhibit to influence a joyful lifestyle. OPERATION: JOY is the space that begins your path to joy.