A show of five Brooklyn artists including, Martha Wilson and Linda Stein, at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, grew to include 13 women when it traveled to Penn State HUB-Robeson Center. Overlap: Life Tapestries kept its Dumbo vibes with exhibits like Linda Stein’s body armor, Martha Wilson’s Trumpian performance and Jean Shin’s magical hanging sculptures, the Hide Series, where she deconstructs women’s shoes, flattens and separates them from their soles, and suspends them by their laces, reducing them to their material essence.
The thirteen women artists are of different social and professional backgrounds, and generations, yet they have found a commonality in recreating the tapestry of their lives through their art. Curator, Vida Sabbaghi gathered their artworks in a New York warehouse and two women from the Penn State gallery rented a truck, drove into the city, and carefully loaded the precious art for a trip to the beautiful large campus of State College in Central PA, home of the Nittany Lions.
Other New York artists in the exhibit include:
-Bastienne Schmidt who was raised in Greece and Italy surrounded by her father’s archeological work. She thinks art and photography belong to the realm of archeology – exploring layers of history.
-Sui Park who weaves inexpensive industrial materials like cable ties into mysterious organic forms which evoke moments in nature.
-and, Michela Martello, who paints with acrylic and Indian pigments on Bhutanese raw silk scarves worn only by men in Bhutan. “Survivor” and “Victim” are portraits of the same woman. United Nations caregivers, explain that if you address women by calling them survivors, instead of calling them victims, the abused women heal faster and feel more empowered.
Other featured artists are Carrie Alter, Judy Gelles, Alice Hope, Sascha Mallon, Shari Rubeck Weschler, Arlene Rush, and Jackie Tileston.
When the staff put the show together at the Hub-Robeson Gallery, they realized there was not a man in sight. Even the installer was a woman, truly an all-around women’s project.
The show had a big opening, 200 men and women, enjoyed a performance by Martha Wilson and a roundtable discussion with the artists. Penn State Professor of Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dr. Karen Keifer-Boyd, is keeping the action going with more activities like a one-day pop up exhibit, The Warp and Weft of Intersectionality, curated by Martha Wilson and Keifer Boyd, at the Palmer Museum of Art with a selection of 19 works on paper from the Palmer’s permanent collection that explore female subjectivity intersected with race, class, and sexuality, among other identities. Keifer-Boyd will give a talk at noon during the one-day pop-up exhibition at the Palmer on November 2, 2018.
Another project, Overlap: Full Circle, integral to the Overlap: Life Tapestries exhibition involves Keifer-Boyd’s “Including Difference” graduate course and “Visual Culture & Educational Technologies” undergraduate course in which 21 students developed and facilitated activities with diverse groups of visitors to the Overlap: Life Tapestries exhibition. The Overlap: Full Circle project utilizes a 360-degree camera to film facilitated encounters with the art. The footage will then be edited by students in Karen Keifer-Boyd’s courses and Anna Lemnitzer’s photography course at the University of Pittsburg in Bradford to create a fully immersive experience that weaves life tapestries from the stories, drawings, performances, dances, and other interactions of those who have joined the circle of life in Robeson Gallery. Continuing the circle of the life started by Overlap: Life Tapestries, Overlap: Full Circle will open with a public reception on December 5, 2018 in the Immersive Experience Lab in 109 Agriculture Science Building at Penn State University Park and be globally available beginning December 5 at http://cyberhouse.arted.psu.edu/322/exhibition.html.
The Overlap: Life Tapestries curated by Vida Sabbaghi, under COPE NYC, will continue to travel; Pen + Brush Gallery will be one of its destinations.
@cope_nyc @hubrobesongalleries #overlaplifetapestries
Guest writer Karen Keifer-Boyd
Editor Marion Theodore
Photos courtesy of COPE NYC and HUB-Robeson Galleries