September 8, 2015
(Em)Power Dynamics : Exploring the Modes of Female Empowerment and Representation in America
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Gateway Project Space
September 9, 2015 – October 23, 2015


Artists Include: Jaishri Abichandani, Renée Cox, Ayana Evans, FLUCT, Angela Fraleigh, Chitra Ganesh, Rachel Mason, Marilyn Minter, Sophia Narrett, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Michele Pred, Ventiko and Shoshanna Weinberger.

(Em)Power Dynamics : Exploring the Modes of Female Empowerment and Representation in America is an exhibition inspired by the collective body of flower paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, starting in 1924, and Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Facial Cosmetic Variations), 1972. Dating from two generations within the ongoing American feminist art movement, these artists exemplify the diversities of concerns, aesthetics, concepts, and approaches that make up the movement. These artists and their work confront the pervasive patriarchy that has been, and continues to be, dominant within our social landscape.

Mendieta and O’Keeffe represent two types of ‘feminist’ (or in the case of O’Keeffe, proto-feminist) artists. On one end, O’Keefe is not necessarily labeled as feminist for the content of her work, but instead for the role she played as a staunch pioneer for women Modernists amongst a sea of men. Mendieta addresses the other end of the spectrum. She used herself- her body, her personal narrative, and a larger social history to address the gender injustices in America. The legacy left by both women has set the tone for this exhibition.

(Em)Power Dynamics is an exhibition that surveys the gambit of American contemporary artists who have pushed boundaries. The diverse mix of artists in the show have advanced against the annals of gender inequality and served to empower not only women in the arts, but women throughout America. Artists in the exhibition not only explore the diversity in modes of representation, but also the vastness of issues and topics that have risen in the larger social/historical conversation. (Em)Power Dynamics is intended to take a critical look at the history and future of feminism in America.

(Em)power Dynamics is the second iteration of the Visualizing Our Americana exhibition series. The series, which is divided into four different exhibitions, explores contemporary social issues through a critical visual lens. The exhibition does not include ‘artifacts,’ instead it presents contemporary work that explores the larger themes pertaining to the larger concept of American culture. Each exhibition is inspired by a ‘classic’ example of what we often associate with ‘Americana’.

The purpose of the series is not only to examine these issues, but also to highlight the positive aspects of diversity that directly correlate with each topic.

The definition of ‘Americana’ is ‘the materials concerning or characteristic of America, its civilization, or it’s culture; broadly: things typical of America’ (Merriam Webster). These materials not only chronicle our collective history, but also shape our social, cultural, and visual future.

In exploring the larger idea of a catchall term as Americana, one must analyze what comprises our American social landscape. America is a country built on the backbone of cross-cultural collaborations. Our foundation is not based on a singular or homogenous narrative; instead, it is a culmination of many voices, histories, and contributions.

About The Gateway Project Space The purpose of the Gateway Project exhibition space is to host socially engaging exhibitions and community programs to cultivate critical social dialogues. It achieves this mission through bold exhibitions, community programming, and support of artists that creating work for social change. The exhibition space is co-directed by Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Jampol, two curators dedicated to activism, justice, and strong multi-disciplinary art.

The Gateway Project gallery space is a subsidiary of Project For Empty Space, a 501c3 non-profit arts organization.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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