Category: Women Artists

CAW presents INSIDE

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On March 17, 2017, CAW opened their exhibition season with INSIDE, at the Cultural Art Center.  INSIDE the first part of duo exhibition, asked the artists to reflect on the multiple meanings of interior spaces through their own lens.   Beginning June 28, 2017, CAW will finish the artistic conversation started in Columbus with their first ever exhibition outside of the city. OUTSIDE will be on view at the Schnormeier Gallery in Mount Vernon, Ohio. This exhibition will consist of partner works that reveal the exterior of the theme each artist began in their work for INSIDE at the Cultural Arts Center.

 

Every CAW exhibition is a unique opportunity for our artists to explore new themes and push the boundaries of their chosen media. Here we highlight just a few artworks out of many incredible pieces from our 35 participating artists.

Megan Evers’s painted homage to bees titled Home is both commanding and delightful. Evers normally utilizes odd shaped canvases but she opts for hexagonal honeycomb pattern within a rectangular canvas. Kristin Morris’s Lizard in Boy Suit is a sublime combination of the grotesque, tongue in cheek humor and technical facility. Lastly, Melinda Sabo’s The Guide invites us to contemplate spiritual and even mystical concepts of one’s interior self.

Lizard in Boy Suit by Kristin Morris
Lizard in Boy Suit by Kristin Morris

The exhibit ends on April 15th. Do yourself a favor and check out these works live and in person. Then make sure you mark your calendars for the second installment of this exhibition OUTSIDE at the Schnormeier Gallery, opening reception July 7th.

For more information about INSIDE at the Cultural Arts Center, visit their website http://www.culturalartscenteronline.org

New Art for a New Year

In 2016 CAW presented two thought provoking exhibitions. The first was Landmark at Fort Hayes Shot Tower, which challenged our member artists to visually translate the theme of the title. As usual our fierce artists charged forward with many diverse and inspired interpretations of the concept of a landmark. In addition, our annual small works show was installed at ClaySpace with the title State of Affairs. In this exhibit our curators directly asked artists to respond to the ever-changing and increasingly polarized political landscape of 2016.

If one thing is certain, this new year will kindle our creativity to interrogate injustices through art. We look forward to several new exhibits including CAW Collected and Inside/Out which will be featured in two locations. We also look forward to providing more opportunities for member artists to further their practice through the Artist Identity Series. More importantly we look forward to the chance to grow together and empower each other as a community of women artists.

Here is to a healthy, creative, active, and prosperous 2017!!

Collaborative Women : The Coalition Zine

Being a part of CAW has opened me to many things, the foremost is being part of a collective & what that looks like.  This got my brain going on what this dynamic might look like for other female identified collectives or groups… enter the rabbit hole we call the internet.  Upon a recent search I stumbled upon Coalition Zine and my cotton socks were knocked clean off.

Their about page reads

“The Coalition is dedicated to telling stories and making space via literature and visual work. We want to do more than introduce diversity to the world of publishing: we want to give it heart. We only accept and publish work from female and femme identifying writers and artists of color and we pride ourselves in bringing you content that is honest and passionate.”

And by god do they deliver.  Published Quarterly (both online and print), the Coalition Zine is so many things, but the one, the one that sticks with me is its delivery of words.   Whether it’s a short story, poem or an interview of a young artist, the writers dig deep.  The entire zine feels immensely personal. Souls being bared in the same way you share thoughts on life with a close friend.  Here are two reads that grabbed me, got me thinking outside of my little self imposed bubble.

Her Selfish Happiness – Sher Xavier

The (White) Privilege of Coming Out – Ann-Derrick Gaillot

There’s so much more I could say, but nothing will compare with finding out for yourself.

 

http://thecoalitionzine.com

 

BETYE SAAR: STILL TICKIN’ Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum, Jan 30 – May 1, 2016

 

BETYE SAAR: STILL TICKIN’

Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum, Jan 30 – May 1, 2016,  Scottsdale, Arizona

By Sandra Aska

 

 

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“I am intrigued with combining the remnant of memories,

fragments or relics and ordinary objects, with the components of technology.

It’s a way of delving into the past and reaching into the future simultaneously.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You know, you can make art out of anything!”

Those were the words Betye Saar said to me when I told her I had been in awe of her work since the 1960s.

 

Betye and Me

We met at the opening of her exhibit at the Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum.  This exhibit is a fascinating journey through the fictional biographies of transplanted Africans and the transformation and assimilation of slaves into contemporary identities and the creation of a constantly evolving culture. A sweet and petite grandmotherly figure today, Betye Saar, an educator, print maker and installation artist, was born in Los Angeles in 1926, and, at age 90, is still making art and visualizing change.

She had an important early influence that set her path. Her grandmother lived in Watts and as a child Betye watched Simon Rodia building his Watts Towers, which to her, was an amazing, mystical, and magical place and the beginning of her life long interest in metaphysics and the occult. Also, she said, where she lived in Pasadena, they had gypsy conventions and her father would drive them to this big park where all these caravans and things were. She spoke about always having an interest in things outside of life as she knew it; and the difficulty of finding information on mysticism, magic, and witchcraft. Because it was the ‘60s, fascination with those ideas were just beginning and images she finally found in books were incorporated into her early work.

The Rosebowl Fleamarket and thrift shops in Pasadena were a source for items that spoke to her-  bits and pieces of dolls, clocks, African masks, Tarot cards, bird cages, old photographs, crockadile skins and other ephemera started piling up in her studio. Photographs of family members, old linen handkerchiefs, personal letters, gloves, clothing and family memorabilia became part of her assembled art.

Some weeks after seeing the exhibit, I was in a contemporary Scottsdale gallery, and still excited about the show, and I asked the gallery owner in Scottsdale if she had seen the Saar’s exhibit and explained what it was about. The gallery owner replied with an emphasis that bore no challenge, “There should be no politics in art. ART is just art, if politics are involved it holds absolutely no interest for me.”  Somewhat taken aback, I was not ready to debate the definition and philosophy of art with her, and simply made a polite retreat. Her idea of art had so many limitations that at least 95% of art through the ages would, to her mind, not be considered art as we see it today.

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Bette Saar is an example of making art based on who she is, was, and is still becoming. Her way is a thoughtful and intuitive process based on things she knows to be true and important to her. She is telling her story.

 

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In this piece the plant material changes according to the exhibition’s location. The staff at SMOCA harvested tumble weed, or mesquite from the desert which filled a big truck to complete the work.

The concept of what art is has changed with every generation and by the innovative artists in that generation. Betye Saar lived in a culturally rich and exciting time. This was a time of politics, action, and radical social change; a time charged with emotions and turmoil, tempored by art and intellect and the act of trying to make sense of things.  Looking at her work today not only tells us her story, but keeps alive the stories of our shared history, be they harsh, cruel, sentimental, mysterious, beautiful, or loving. That is why Betye’s work and possibly your work will be important to future generations regardless of how art is defined. It matters not how or what we make in terms of art, or if we will be famous, but rather the brave and true act of recording our stories and leaving a message for future generations that can be informative, edifying, healing, and awe inspiring.

The Scottsdale Contemporary Art Center is gracious about photography, so all photographs are by the author. There are no titles. Betye did not want titles listed on the work and she prevailed.  

  1.  January 4, 2012 interview with Juvenio L. Guerra in the Getty newsletter iris
  2. Click on the link to see Betye talk about the Liberation of Aunt Jemima on You Tube 

 

 

Jen Bodine: Analytical Organic Chemist + Artist