The South Bay Area and Peninsula Chapters of the Women’s Caucus for Art in conjunction with SOMArts Cultural Center present an exhibition titled “CONTROL”, curated by Karen Gutfreund, displaying the work of California women artists. The exhibition will be held August 6 – 29, 2009 at SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco. The opening reception and opportunity to meet the artists will be held at SOMArts on Thursday, August 6 f r o m 6 – 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
“CONTROL” includes artwork by 79 emerging and professional women artists. The 94 works on display cover a broad range of media, including painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and video installation. Organized around the theme of control (or lack of it), the show explores the artists interpretation of all methods of control: internal, external, positive, negative, over life events and over technology, empowering or dehumanizing, politically correct – or not.
This collection of work addresses many issues, including statements on war, politics, ethnicity, gender identity and stereotypes, domestic violence, religion, money and the environment. ”Regardless of the artist’s media, their individual work speaks to the uniqueness and strength of their message on “Control” says Karen Gutfreund, curator.
The exhibition was organized by the South Bay Area and Peninsula chapters of Women’s Caucus for Art, a national organization. The work was juried by members of Guerrilla Girls West, a group of women art activists in gorilla masks, who have been protesting the lack of inclusion for women artists in museum and gallery collections since 1987. The Guerrilla Girls West stated they “chose the work based on artistic quality, perceived relevance to the theme of Control, and relevance as seen by typical exhibition visitors”.
About the Women’s Caucus for Art
Founded in 1972 in connection with the College Art Association (CAA), WCA is a national member organization unique in its multi-disciplinary, multicultural membership of artists, art historians, students /educators, and museum professionals. The mission of the Women’s Caucus for Art is to expand opportunities and recognition for women in the arts.
WCA is committed to education about the contributions of women, opportunities for the exhibition of women’s work, publication of women’s writing about art, inclusion of women in the history of art, professional equity for all, and respect for all individuals without discrimination and support for legislation relevant to our goals. For more information visit: www.nationalwca.org.
About SOMArts Cultural Center
The mission of SOMArts Cultural Center is to promote and nurture art on the community level and foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures. Established as a nonprofit in 1979, SOMArts was born f r o m the passionate activism of the Neighborhood Arts Movement—a trailblazing initiative in San Francisco that demanded art for and by the people, outside the circles of high culture, and supported financially by the city. In the early years of Neighborhood Arts, the city’s program provided performance space and much-needed technical support such as sound, lighting and poster printing to arts and cultural groups who did not have access elsewhere. For more information visit: www.somarts.org.
About the Guerilla Girls West
Inspired by the Guerrilla Girls in NYC (founded in 1985), the Guerrilla Girls West was founded in 1987. The independent Northern California group, all professional artists and/or art educators, took the name Guerrilla Girls West, continue to wear the gorilla masks for public appearances, and maintain tight security. For several years, when the Chronicle’s Pink Section printed all the calendar listings, artists’ names were tallied and percentages of male and female artists were calculated. The ten best and ten worst galleries (in terms of gender balance) were published and awards (little wind-up gorillas for the good guys, ripe bananas for the bad guys) were personally delivered by a pair in masks.
More information on CONTROL:
The curatorial committee endeavored to create a pertinent and timely exhibition for California women artists with a theme that would stimulate the artists and viewers alike into meaningful dialogue. Control indicates power and strength for some and alternatively a sense of vulnerability and helplessness for others. The work in this exhibition reflects a myriad of interpretations on aspects of control and its significance to the artist.
What does one control? What controls the individual in life, body, temperament, destiny, society, religion, family and addictions/desires? What does a sense of power over ones environment look like and what comes to mind if that power or control is stripped away? How have political, social or economic controls shaped ones life and the lives of others? In what ways does the media and popular culture dictate and control? And how much control does one have to exert or to yield in order to survive?
The artists examine the juxtaposition of internal and external controls placed on our bodies, our minds, our lives and thus how we react and manifest these controls into our psyche and ultimately our art. “Control” talks about these crucial issues in the world and mirrors each artist’s individual experience. In this context, the message matters as much as the medium.
The response to the call for art was extraordinary! We received entries f r o m 171 artists with up to three works each. The work and statements were well thought out, personal and very moving; to me each was a gift that alternatively made me laugh and made me cry. The emotional honesty and strength of the works on themes of gender roles, consumerism, war, ethnicity, religion, body image, political and cultural power, motherhood, domestic abuse and family life, sexual identity and mind control are a testimony to the creative spirit of these artists, says Karen Gutfreund, Curator.
Via EPR Network
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