October 20, 2015
Angela Fraleigh: Lost in the Light
Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site, 10/20/2015


Angela Fraleigh: Lost in the Light
Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site, 10/20/2015

Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site is pleased to present Angela Fraleigh: Lost in the Light October 10, 2015-May 25, 2016. Fraleigh's complex paintings examine and explore power dynamics. Her work often tugs at the shadows of art history in search of invisible histories and dormant narratives that might restore agency to the women that inhabit them. For the first time in the history of the museum, contemporary paintings will be exhibited in the historic rooms of the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Much about the inhabitants of the Vanderbilt Mansion remains a mystery, but none more so than the women of the post-industrial era. We can find records of men's lives and men's matters; men mattered. But even the women of the upper class were regarded with little account unless tabloid worthy. There are few accounts of Louise Vanderbilt and the upper-class guests that frequented the residence, as well as the servants, maids and cooks that scuttled in the shadows, behind closed doors. Much about the women who lived on the estate during this period remains elusive, as do the women in Fraleigh's paintings.

These portraits represent female heads seen from behind, the features of their faces removed from view. The compositions are pared back to four elements: the limited background and the subject's hair, skin and clothing. We cannot tell whether the subject is a maid or a member of the wealthy class. The paintings are without overt symbolic detail - no clear reference is made to class or interests. There is a democratizing quality to this approach that makes all women equal regardless of their station in life, highlighting the lack of autonomy women had during this period. Whether the issues of equal wages for equal work, property and custody rights, or the right to vote, women were second-class citizens regardless of their economic standing. The portraits are mute, impenetrable and isolated, arousing longing for the stories that peopled this home, but offering only a whisper.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a unique book collaboration between Fraleigh and writer Jen Werner. This book is an attempt to give voice to the women that lived, visited, and worked in the Vanderbilt's Hyde Park country house. Based on oral histories, primary and secondary historical documents, and the muse of invention, this book is a tribute to the physical and psychological aspects of female life during the Gilded Age. Included in the book are partially invented stories meant to invoke not only the spirit of Louise Vanderbilt and the women who surrounded her, but also the necessary role that women played in the grand American history.

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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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