Beckie Kravetz’s two sculptures provide the perfect entry point to the show’s theme. Kravetz states: ‘The Closet’ (bronze and mixed media) captures a moment that we all confront every day: choosing what face we present to the world. Our wardrobe of moods and expressions, as much or more than the clothing we wear, lets us decide how much of ourselves we want to reveal- even as it signals to others whether we are conforming to or rebelling against expected behavior. ‘Dismay Pole’ (ceramic) depicts a woman immobilized by the competing demands of her inner and outer life. Overwhelmed by the chaos of her swirling emotions, she feels simultaneously bound and out of control.”
Clea Carlsen’s ceramic pieces complement Kravetz’ works beautifully and are also cornerstone to the show’s overall theme. Carlsen’s works are characteristically teeming with emotional conflict yet evoke a certain sense of triumph at the same time. “I think my sculptures are always an attempt to express the battles that are the inevitable result of being a terribly imperfect and always deteriorating human being (especially female) in a world in which one always feels one should be better than one is.”
Stephanie Trenchard’s and Susan Taylor Glasgow's glass works address the overarching themes of domesticity and maternity. Taylor Glasgow, who creates exquisite glass versions of objects with highly feminine association (dresses, brasseries, high heel shoes, baked goods, handbags, etc.) states, “My work embraces the feminine ideals of sensuality, in a seductive but unforgiving material, offering conflicting messages of comfort and expectation.” Trenchard shares her perspective: “I find when looking at art I always check to see if the artist is a woman. In addition to trying to look at art with an open heart and mind, I inevitably project my own experience on the work, which is to say, that I look for answers to my personal questions through comparison. I am fascinated by how [women] have navigated the difficulties of parenting while devoting their lives to their fine art careers. I know I am not alone in this challenge, which is helpful.”
Two key works from Teri Greeves have been selected for the show; “Wa-Ho: The First Song After the Flood” and “She Loved Her People”. Greeves’ words best describe these two powerful pieces: “I didn't make these pieces in reaction to the definitions of womanhood but rather from my experience of being a Native woman living within the community that I come from. With "She Loved Her People", I was trying to explore what would motivate a woman to violence-something I know women across the world must feel when their families are violated.
"That we Southern and Northern Plains women continue to honor, symbolically, what this one woman did not only flies in the face of the stereotypical "Warrior" image of Indian men, it recognizes that our contributions are not forgotten and are held in high regard to this day. With "Wa-ho" I was moved by being a mother, the first teacher of our children, and the love that demonstrates our understanding of preciousness of life. It is something I think any mother can understand, no matter what time or place they come from. Both of these pieces were my attempt at understanding truths that women know and feel, but, at least for Native women, are often times ignored by the modern patriarchy.”
Patrick McGrath Muñiz, who’s work is heavily focused on the forces that shape our modern lives, created three new paintings for the show including “Double Burden Worker” which serves as a reminder of the women that are often neglected or ignored that prepare and serve food daily (both through paid and unpaid domestic labor). Consumo Ergo Sum (I Consume, therefore I am) according to Muñiz, “ties in the Patriarchal Judeo Christian traditions with the continuous stream of media propaganda and consumerism that intends to define our lives and individuality through created fears and desires,” according to Muñiz. This piece in particular brilliantly reinforces the show’s theme as a whole.
Sheryl Zacharia, ceramic sculptor, andKrista Harris, modernist/abstract painter have also both addressed universal themes in their contributions to the show. Zacharia’s sculpture “Half Man, Half Woman” comments on the changing roles of women in the workplace and at home, and evolving ideas of female sexuality. Harris’ painting “Beauty Sleep” explores her own evolving approach to the notion of beauty, which for many women expands and contracts with life experiences. “As I have aged, and become a Mother myself, my understanding of beauty has grown more complex and has a far more complicated and broader definition. It is in flux, changing with the season, the light, my mood. My appreciation for beauty has become more multi-faceted and gentler. I revise my opinions at will,” Harris comments.
Irina Zaytceva is known for her ceramic sculptures rich with scenery evoking notions of fairytale, illusion, and the majesty of nature and each work embodies complex threads of both beauty and tension. Zaytceva’s cups featured in the show are directly based on the story of Madame Butterfly, a fantastic story rich with examples of the impact of culture on a specific woman’s life.
Roger Reuitmann’s bronze sculpture, “Equity of Justice” was inspired by social oppression and the epiphenomenon of various social dysfunctions such as discrimination, intolerance and discernment; themes with global relevance to women and men alike.