01/27/2017 - 02/17/2017
Opening reception: Friday, January 27th
Exhibit runs Friday, January 28th – Friday, February 17th, 2017
Amidst the upheaval of 2016, one of the many things that remain uncertain as we enter a year with the new President-elect is how women’s rights will be affected. With this in mind, our inaugural show highlights a group of five talented female artists whose work is a challenging, powerful and visible reminder that women will not be silenced or devalued in the art world and beyond.
For Valure, six artists set out to deconstruct the confines of the idealized “feminine” and explore what it means to value the self while living within a society which places a taboo on aging and an endless fascination on youth. Influenced by dreams, individual identity and the metamorphosis of the body, this collection of work honors the physical, valuing life outside of the scope of the day-to-day.
Juxtaposing dismembered images with illustrations of overgrowth, Jane Wunrow’s abstract works create a collage fluidity, jumping between the physical world and the Divine ambiguity. In the same vein, Karolczak’s soft-lensed, anatomical disfigurations act as the connective tissue between the somatic and the caprice. In both, the ephemeral is present but the outcome of death looms like an ominous apparition, lightly-hued and visually arresting.
Highlighting demonstrations of beauty through a voyeuristic gaze, artist Serah Sauser’s photographs invite us into a couture fantasy dipped in aberrancy. While Bethany Birnie’s whimsically macabre taxidermy pieces take callously discarded, ordinary roadkill and – with Frankenstein-esque creativity – reconstruct them into something dreamlike. By honoring the mortal chassis of these displaced animals, she places worth on their life, both past and in their fantastical metamorphosis.
A series of reflective, autobiographical paintings inspired by her summer job as a Playboy Bunny in the 70’s, Bunny Portia’s works are of the genre “Memento Mori,” which loosely translates into “remember that you will die.” Through photos of the “ideal figure” overlapping medical x-ray imagery, her paintings are intended as a symbolic reminder of the impermanence of beauty, including the arc of aging and mortality.
Though each artist’s unique experience is apparent, their visual connection is a transcendent journey into the various ways society, culture and our own bias shape and often distort identity.
*Originally billed as a five women group exhibit, curators Cassie Garner and Jade Patrick made two last minute additions to the show: sculptural works by CL Martin and a video piece titled “Rebirth” by Jade and James Patrick. In both cases, the works echo themes laced through the Valure exhibition and play to the heart of matters in the exhibit finale, Mannequin’s Daughter.
Bethany Birnie, Bunny Portia, Caitlin Karolczak, C.L. Martin, Jane Wunrow, and Serah Sauser
OPENING RECEPTION // Friday, January 27th – $5
Featuring live experimental dub music by local female electronic music producer Aimerie
CLOSING RECEPTION // Friday, February 17th – $10
Featuring “Mannequin’s Daughter,” an original dance performance piece from Ghostbridge Theatre