Strategic Planning: Chantal Zakari

January 3-28, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, January 12, 2018, 5:00-8:00 pm

  • Chantal Zakari

    The Competitive Landscape, four color screen print on felt, 18 x 40 inches, 2017.

    The Competitive Landscape
  • Chantal Zakari

    Leadership Workshop, denier nylon applique gonfalon, 50 x 30 inches, 2017.

    Leadership Workshop
  • Chantal Zakari

    Strategic Plan, denier nylon applique gonfalon, 60 x 50 inches, 2017.

    Strategic Plan
  • Chantal Zakari

    Strategic Plan (detail), denier nylon applique gonfalon, 60 x 50 inches, 2017.

    Strategic Plan (detail)
  • Chantal Zakari

    SWOT, woven embroidery patch, 6 x 6 inches, 2017.

    SWOT
  • Chantal Zakari

    Cultural Engagement, 200 denier nylon applique banner gonfalon, 44 x 28 inches, 2017.

    Cultural Engagement

Press Release
Johnson, Jameson. "Chantal Zakari Raises a Warning Flag." Boston Art Review, January 28, 2018.
McQuaid, Cate. "Chantal Zakari turns pennants into red flag." The Boston Globe, Galleries, January 17, 2018.
Artist Page

In her new work Chantal Zakari creates a collection of flags that reference business nomenclature which is widely being used by academic administrations. The business term "Strategic Plan" originated in the military but is now a staple of every university, liberal arts college, and even small art schools. It functions as a promise for positive change along with improvements for the institution's immediate future.

The designs of these pennants, sailing burgees and medieval gonfalons are a study of vexillography layered with visual elements from various historical periods. Collected on internet clipart sites, the vernacular imagery points to a hollow vocabulary: SWOT for strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats; Competitive Landscape; Synergy; Global Imperative; Innovation Catalyst; Leadership Workshop… The accompanying artist's book for the exhibition is designed in the style of a product catalog. Here, the banners are seen within context, in college specific spaces such as faculty offices, dorm rooms, libraries and art studios.

At a time when an increasing number of small colleges are under financial stress due to a shrinking student population caused by enormous increases in tuition, these art objects stand as reminders of the true ideals of higher education that are at risk.