My artistic inspirations are often drawn from evolving and decaying facets of nature and their spiritual imprints, including unnoticeable elements, such as wind, soil and water, as well as man-made artifacts such as industrial wastes and debris. These works concern the ambiguous state of being transient and permanent often through a process of re-generation.
The work “Black Tire” reflects our ephemeral yet enduring existence in our environment. I have cast a ripped tire I found on the highway and fired it into a glass sculpture. It was suspended inside the kiln with sheets of clear glass frit on top. The heat created the natural curve in the tire sculpture and the icy sheets melted over it. The tire piece looks as if it were bouncing out of sheets of ice or wrapped around in a vale of ice. Two opposite powers appear to be rebelling against each other and yet they may also be perceived as embracing each other.
All of my work has an undercurrent of feminism. This one more overtly so. It speaks to the struggles and demands women have made and are continuing to fight for and the capitulations and restraints that women have had to endure, but refuse to accept.
Kathryn Hart is a multidisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of sculpture, installation, drawing and photography. She expands works beyond their physicality using shadow, reflection, light, dimension, gesture, line, and space. Her spatial installations respond to the unique architecture of their environments. Recent solo shows include Sala d’Exposicions Coll Alas de Gandia (SP); European Cultural Centre, a 58th Venice Biennale event; School of Visual Arts (NYC); Politechnika Krakowska (Krakow); Howland Cultural Center (NY); Galerie SD Szucha 8 (Warsaw); Andre Zarre Gallery, (NYC); and ArtHaus (Denver). Select group venues include Ateneo de Madrid, Chelsea Art Museum (NYC), Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oceanside MOA (CA), M. David & Co. (Brooklyn), A.I.R. Gallery (Brooklyn), Archeological Museum, Gandia, and So. Nevada MFA (Las Vegas). She has recently been featured in Art Spiel, The September Issues Magazine, Estetica Pedagogica, Amparo Zacares essays; Gallery&Studio Arts Journal, Diversions LA and public TV (USA & Spain).
The American suffragettes used colors and flowers as symbols of their movement. The Suffragist, Vol. 1 No. 4, published on December 6, 1913, describes the symbolism of the colors. “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, un-swerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.” Simplified, the tri-colors signified loyalty, purity, and life. (La Croix)
My use of the blur as a space and memory-making gesture draws on my extended investigation of cultures from around the world. In chance encounters, the extraordinary is made visible in the ordinary. Hybrids of the abstract and the real, the painterly and the documentary, my photographs present a vision that exists as much in my imagination as in the real world. They are often a sensual and poetic view of the seemingly everyday.
I experiment with the limits and peculiarities of color film to produce luminous photographs saturated with intense color. In them, I explore visual memory, religious coexistence, rituals, the female world, and nature. Editing and sequencing are the mainstays of my process. I sequence images to create non-linear confluences that challenge traditional narrative and are at once dark and light, tragic and celebratory, sad and hopeful. Publishing is a significant part of my practice: in my books, I experiment with different ways of producing and viewing photographs.
Maxine Henryson is an artist and bookmaker who creates sensual, poetic photographs of the seemingly everyday. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, she lives and works in New York. She studied sociology at Simmons College, Boston (Bachelor of Science), and the University of London (Master of Philosophy) and has a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in studio arts from the University of Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe and are in numerous public and private international collections, including the former Celanese Photography Collection, Frankfurt; the Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; and the Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, Vermont.
Henryson’s recent solo exhibition Ujjayi’s Journey, was at A.I.R. Gallery, New York, in 2014. Selected group exhibitions include UNSCHARF, Nach Gerhard Richter at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2011) as well as Marvelous Reality/ Lo Real Maravilloso at Gallery Espace, New Delhi, and Lives of the Hudson at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York (both 2009). Henryson has taught photography at the International Center of Photography, New York; and Bennington College, Vermont (1996–2006). Her photography is the subject of three monographs: Ujjayi’s Journey (Kehrer, 2012), Red Leaves and Golden Curtains (Kehrer, 2007), and Presence (Artist Publications, 2003), and her work has been frequently published in NAMARUPA, Categories of Indian Thought.
The interplay of feminism and nature is the focus of my work. I create visual narratives inspired by growing up caught between a collapsing conservative steel town and the rural escapism of my grandparents' farm in the coal mountains of central PA. The techniques I employ are largely self-developed and include layering distressed drawings, paint, and original photography. All my work has a tactile, handmade feel, where much of the construction process remains visible in the final image.
For Suffrage 100 I am presenting self-portrait photographs that I made when I voted for the first time in my life. That was the U.S. presidential election in 2008. It was such a liberating moment for me. I could not have voted earlier because I was not a U.S. citizen and my other citizenship does not allow for such a thing. These photos were personal. I never intended to exhibit them. But for this show I found that this is a perfect place to share them.
I have found Sojourner Truth to be intensely interesting and wonderful...keeping herself going in spite of all that happened. The original owner of the man she loved was a landscape painter...which I found so sad, as artists are often more kind hearted I thought. He was so abusive to this man and this abuse caused his death and hurt her soul. She moved on to marry someone else, but never forgot her original feelings. I have envisioned Sojourner talking to the modern world, which is full of our knowledge of science and the empirical. And then a conversation with George Washington, all made with collaged papers.
A few years ago I planted the rose—watching it struggle amongst the rapidly spreading azalea. Continuing to remove the spread as it grew, my rose eventually thrived vigorously with lots of air space and water. My painting, "Rose Above the Azalea," is gouache on wood. I like gouache (an opaque watercolor medium) because it has the fluidity of watercolor with the permanence of oil paint. It is very good for painting out of doors on paper, and then reproducing in the studio on (heavier) primed wood. It suits my working process and vision very well.
Mimi Oritsky received an M.F.A. in painting and printmaking from the University of Pennsylvania graduate school of fine arts and a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Oritsky has received purchase awards from the Reading Public Museum and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts/Arcadia University. She was awarded residence fellowships from the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation, the Millay Colony for the Arts and the Artists for Environment Foundation. Oritsky currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I’m looking at a very corporeal experience of black and brown bodies navigating the northern European cultural legacy, as well as the psychological effects of this association. "Suffrage, 2020" reflects the suffering and rage that has historically affected people of color with regard to the right to vote. Even after legally gaining the right to vote, African Americans faced significant barriers to voting in the form of literacy tests, poll taxes and other discriminatory practices. Today efforts to disenfranchise Black voters include requiring specific photo IDs, and limiting early and mail-in voting. Through devices of visual engagement, I hope to give viewers an empathetic glimpse into the emotional predicament of the displaced Black body.
"Stronger Together" is a 3D embroidery piece that celebrates the 19th Amendment of 1920, giving women the right to vote in the USA. However, it wasn't until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that women of color in the South were able to exercise this right without restrictions.
This artwork consists of a chorus line of 3 women's stockings of various colors. They are embroidered with roses and embellished with glass beading. The work is attached to the wall with a metal ring that appears as a garter decorated with antique lace with sequins/beads and weighted at the base with sockets adorned with vintage buttons. The toes are en-pointe (a ballet term) as if rising from the pedestal that forms the floor.
The legs are of different colors to signify the positions that women have held towards their rights. The white signifies a lack of interest as these women have traditionally been beneficiaries of their white husbands'/fathers' positions of wealth and power. The blue stocking refers to the emancipated opinion of educated women and the black represents women of color who have struggled for so long for civil rights.
The use of the rose motif evokes the Tennessee legislature's historical debate to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920. The anti-suffragists wore red roses, those who supported women's enfranchisement wore yellow roses. The white roses on the black leg signify the incredible grace and courage of women of color who championed the suffrage cause without receiving the full benefit.
As a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, migrant woman living in the American South, now is the time to acknowledge the past and make changes to ensure a genuinely free, kinder, and equal America. Making these changes will not be easy, but we are stronger together.
Born and educated in Australia and living in the American South, Dr. Simone Paterson is an artist who works at the crossroads of creative technologies and crafts. The location of her studio in an old log cabin (Caterdell Cabin) in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia exerts an influence on her contemporary art production. She is an advocate for the importance of diversity, difference, and inclusion. Her work acknowledges the historically unpaid, undervalued, and invisible labor of women. She has a particular interest in how energy flows throughout our bodies and within machine systems and firmly believes that making and viewing art can make a significant contribution to our health and well-being. Her solo exhibitions with diverse applications of technology and textiles have included showings at A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA, The Taubman Museum of Art, Virginia, USA, and a residency at Art Space, Sydney, Australia. She has made presentations at the Collage Art Association in New York, and ISEA, South Africa. Her hand-stitching workshops, held in the rural mountain area of Appalachia, have an emphasis on healing. Paterson received a Ph.D. from The University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, an M.F.A. from Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia. Paterson is a retired associate professor and chair of Undergraduate Studies in Creative Technologies, and past chair of studio at the School of Visual Arts, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Human-Centered Design graduate program at Virginia Tech, USA.
Yvette Drury Dubinsky
These two pieces are part of a series about the discontents/issues of women in the early 1990's. The cyanotype image superimposed on all of them is one of a woman in a striped dress with her arms crossed in front of her chest, a defensive posture. The image on which it is placed involves that which is troublesome. In "Move to EEOC," there is a swirling collage of the news of the times, as printed. In September 1991, Clarence Thomas' nomination for the supreme court was being challenged by a young woman lawyer, Anita Hill, who worked under him and for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charging sexual harassment. There was also news that a man (living in Southern Illinois) had killed his own daughter because she was found to be dating someone of whom he did not approve.
A woman artist living in the Midwest, unless able to somehow get her work to be shown on either the East Coast or the West Coast, has trouble getting exposure and recognition in the art market. Often, as in the case of this artist, the woman in question is juggling many responsibilities along with her art-making (career) ones. Time for promotion of one's own work is hard won.
Yvette Drury Dubinsky makes art about what troubles her, or what brings out the most emotion in her. She plays with and combines materials and processes, including alternative process photo and printmaking, gouache, ink, watercolor, oil, resists and collage. She received AB, MA and MFA degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and has shown her work widely, with over 22 one or two person exhibitions around the United States and in Europe. Her work is in several public collections including that of the Saint Louis Art Museum, The Provincetown Art Association and Museum, The Margaret Harwell Museum, The Federal Reserve Bank. She has also been a part of the Art In Embassies program of the US State Department. She has held a residency at the Cité Internationale Des Arts in Paris, France where she had a solo exhibition. Dubinsky has taught at Washington University, Webster University, The University of Chicago. She has also taught workshops at The Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill and in Provincetown, MA at The Fine Arts Work Center summer program. Her website is www.yddstudio.com where more detailed information can be found.
These painted works on paper express a poetic and colorful relationship be-tween our histories and current visual surroundings. The non-representational imagery serves as a form of "freedom," and "illegibility" becomes my personal response to the media's claims of "reality" and "fiction." The ink transfer images are taken directly from 100 years old historic imager. My method, a systematic layering of photographic ink, water, and vinyl-based paint, produces renderings that are non-objective ("representing or intended to represent no natural or actual object, figure, or scene"). The resulting composition appears at once familiar and completely ethereal, offering an atmosphere to contemplate the natural and fabricated world.
My drawings "Old Growth, New Growth #1" and "Old Growth, New Growth #2" typify my working process. Both of them were begun about 15 years ago when I was making many drawings with graphite. At the time I was not sure how I wanted to complete them. I liked the definition and simplicity of graphite on paper with lines growing upwards in all directions and circling back. I kept looking at the drawings and re-working parts, adding new marks, blurring areas with my fingers and erasing old lines. This past year I decided I wanted to include some color to see how it affected them. I am happy that it gives them another dimension and hints at something beyond the drawings.
Nancy Storrow lives and works in Vermont. As a New York Artist Member of A.I.R. Gallery since 1982, she has had 12 solo exhibitions at A.I.R. Gallery and her work has been included in many of the gallery group exhibitions. She has exhibited throughout the US and in Europe. Recent exhibitions include "Edgeland," Next Stage Arts Project, Putney, VT; "Second Nature," Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY; and "Recollecting Nature," Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center, Brattleboro, VT. Her drawings have been selected for a Wall Program and Booklet at Yellow Barn Music, Putney, Vermont and for the cover of Clockhouse Journal, Volume Seven, 2019.
This piece is an interpretive work that describes the constant internal struggle to grow outwards and to reach a place of truly being represented equally in society through the action of voting but also through all other aspects of participatory democracy. Over the past 100 years, I view this process for women as both expansion and retraction and so a spiral motion came to mind as I made the work.
Interaction and the ephemeral are central to my work. My passion for materials has led to an investigation of light-reactive materials such as mirrors, resin, acrylic gel mediums, glass, and translucent porcelain. The interaction of these materials creates complex layers of translucency, reflection and shadow. While my work's rich material qualities are palpable, the transience of light is equally important. Each piece changes constantly depending on the time of day, the environment it reflects, and the position of the viewer. While most of my installation work has been overtly interactive (participants are invited to touch and move objects), my work involving mirrors is also inherently interactive. Other aspects of my work also imply the ephemeral. Delicate, materials such as tiny, translucent porcelain elements create a feeling of vulnerability. Amber resin and insect pins are both associated with the preservation of organisms. Porcelain is both easy to break and at the same time durable for millennia buried in the earth. Pyramids evoke the quest for immortality. Through my work I seek, paradoxically, to capture and immortalize what is transient. Another underpinning of my work is geometry. Basic forms such as squares, circles, ellipses, grids, pyramids, and the relationships between them form compositional structures. Sequential systems inform component-based works or patterns within apiece. At the same time, each geometric structure is altered and enriched by materials and by the hand's intervention in the forming process. I’m searching for the edge between the geometrically perfect and organically irregular, and the place where the present and the infinite coexist.
The struggle of the Suffragists to give women a voice in the political arena in the early 20th century led to the struggle of women to be recognized as artists in the late 20th century. In the 21st century, it continues to open the door for all others who are disenfranchised and need to be heard. In my work "Haunted Habitat, July 2019" I express my concern for the man-made fragile ecology of the earth in a medium that allows me to visualize my home on the planet and map climate information available to all of us on the internet.
The long work of those whose strength, persistence, strategic brilliance and courage brought women the right to vote 100 years ago is far from over, nor was it perfect. It took women of color and indigenous women many more years to gain the vote and they must still fight to exercise it. As we honor the success of female suffrage, it is also apt to consider how far women have truly come in reaching equality as human beings since 1920 and the ways in which that goal is still elusive.
"Disequilibrium," the piece I made for the Suffrage 100 show, reflects the dislocation that I think is a hallmark of contemporary life for women. The whiplash of competing demands and obligations; the varied and often contradictory roles of mother, worker, partner, caretaker, community builder; the expectations of sexual attractiveness and professionalism. We have become expert at juggling and accommodating, sublimating and smiling. Sometimes, the weight of being pulled in all directions is overwhelming.
Ellyn Weiss is a Washington, D.C.-based visual artist in two and three dimensions, as well as an independent curator. She has had more than 25 solo or featured shows and has participated in numerous juried and curated exhibitions. She works in a wide variety of media; the materials used in recent shows include wax, oilbar, dry pigment, wire, plastic dip and tar. The Washington Post has described her mural-sized drawings as "volcanic" and her wax artifacts as "show-stoppers."
As an artist and a curator, she strives to use visual communication to engage with the issues of our community and our world. A major part of her work over the past decade speaks directly to the existential threat posed by global climate change. With various collaborators, she has created installations dealing with the effects of the melting of the polar ice cap (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2014; McLean Project for the Arts, 2015), the destruction of coral reefs worldwide (Artists and Makers, 2016) and the migration of infectious diseases caused by a warming planet (Otis Street Arts Project, 2017).
Over the past 10 years, she has curated, with Sondra Arkin, the Zeitgeist series of four exhibitions, featuring D.C.-area artists responding to an issue important to our moment in time. Subjects covered have included the diminution of personal privacy, the meaning of the election of our first African American president and the effects on the human brain of exposure to constant streams of digital information.
She is a founder of ArtWatch, a group of artists committed to standing for the besieged core values of democracy: inclusion, openness and tolerance. She led a collaboration of 220 artists on the One House Project, an installation celebrating the diversity of America. It was exhibited for the first time at the Touchstone Gallery in Washington, D.C., in November 2017. The House was expanded to 300 artists and exhibited at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland, in the fall of 2018.
She is committed to engagement with the world around her. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists and is co-chair of the board of the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, an art school, gallery and residency program. She was a founding member of the board of the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts in D.C. and one of the founders of Artomatic.
In "Woman on Fire," I’m playing with both the idea of female empowerment and determination but also the idea of a woman possibly in pain. We have too long to go still to reach equality. The idea that we still have not passed the Equal Rights Amendment is abhorrent.
"SECTION 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. SEC. 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. SEC. 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification."
What can we do to promote the equality of all people in the USA? Why has the "Me Too" Movement gained traction now, at this point in time, as opposed to another time?
Jennifer McCandless, born 1967, Detroit, Michigan.
Jennifer received her B.F.A in sculpture from Otis/Parsons School of Art and Design and her M.F.A. in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has taught Ceramics and Sculpture at Wayne State University and The Loomis Chaffee School. Jennifer has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Michigan Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grant, The Palmer Fellowship 2011-2015 and the Skowhegan Fellowship. Her extensive exhibition history includes shows at the National Sculpture Society, the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, The Lemberg Gallery, the Housatanic Museum, the John Sly Ely Museum, the Elmhurst Art Museum, Hyde Park Art Center, and The Frederick Meijer Museum of Sculpture, and in 2018 her work was featured in Fahrenheit 2018 at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. She has also exhibited in the Miami (X Contemporary) and NYC (Superfine) art fairs 2015-17. She was recently in residence at the Millay Colony and MASS MoCA and is currently represented by A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Soapbox Arts in Burlington, Vermont.
Women fought hard for the right to vote 100 years ago and today women's reproductive rights are under serious attack. A woman's body continues to be a ground of social, political and cultural debate, particularly in 2020.
What could symbolize women more than a bra and an apron?
Breasts have been hyper-sexualized in almost every culture. The patriarchy has conditioned women to cover their breasts and sexuality, even though bras may be very uncomfortable. Yet, a whole industry exists to create sexy bras that uplift breasts and keep them in the right place for the "male gaze." Breasts that feed babies or that sag, or that are old, or that move naturally are not erotic and diminish the worth of the women.
Cultural norms still dictate that women who go braless are seen as radical, political feminists or promiscuous, like the "bra-burners" of the '60's, (even though that was a cultural myth.) But without women, there would be no world. The apron, too, is an emblem of female domesticity and repression, a 1950's trope of stifled housewives that became unpopular during the cultural upheaval of changing gender roles though men as chefs wear them all the time.
Somehow I thought these two pieces for the show were fitting for the title of the show. The drawing "All Together Now" shows a cactus-like person/woman signaling equally to roots, creatures, plants and rocks to come together, as in a chorus, to praise nature and its beauty and to be in harmony in our varied world.
In "Look Back/Going Forward," this spiraling woman is looking back at her past, but her body is moving forward. This is how we accomplish what we have done in our lives, and this is what women are doing now, moving forward, gradually making strides in all avenues of commerce, equality, and leadership.
These works are done with acrylic paint and a sponge technique with stencils. Both pieces were done on Indian paper.
Jessica Ravenelle Stacy-Ann "Ro" Rowe '97