‘100 % Women’ exhibits at the Kimball Art Center examine communication
The Kimball Art Center’s new exhibit is designed to address two issues — modern communication and women in the arts.
"We have three small exhibitions in our separate galleries that will fall under the heading ‘100 Percent Women: Four Women to Watch,’" said Exhibitions Director Christine Baczek during an interview with The Park Record. "All three exhibitions will open officially on Feb. 27, but the exhibits in the Main and Garage Galleries will show beginning on Friday, Feb. 13."
The showings are titled "Out of Sight/In the Mind" by Bonnie Sucec and Susan Beck in the Main Gallery, "Susan Cofer: 1977-2006" by Susan Cofer in the Garage Gallery and "Lost in Translation" by Sandra Doore in the Badami Gallery.
When the Baczek sought artists to show their work during the first exhibit after the Sundance Film Festival, she immediately thought of Sucec and Beck.
"They’ve been doing this collaboration for a few years when one of them makes a painting or drawing and calls the other on the phone and describes that work," Baczek said. "The other one, then responds with a similar painting or drawing.
"I really liked the idea, especially how communication works now when we’re bombarded with things every day," Baczek said. "Much of what we do is textual, whether it’s emails or texting, so this collaboration hits on something about us being people in a contemporary society."
The exhibit will also feature some interactive elements, according to Baczek.
"We’ll have a recording of their conversations, which will be interesting," she said. "We’ll also have an interactive element where people can use an intercom to describe an image to draw."
Across from the Main Gallery in the Garage Gallery, where Publik Coffee does business, Susan Cofer will show works that were created between 1977 to 2006.
"Susan is in Atlanta, Georgia, and is influenced by everything that has come into her life," Baczek said. "Her subconscious is really a big player in her drawings."
Cofer’s works feature vertical lines that are methodically drawn one-by-one on top of each other, according to Baczek.
"Sometimes it takes her months to complete a work and get a final product," she said. "What happens is she ends up translating her subconscious onto paper.
"These are all gorgeous and small drawings that measure 11 inches by 14 inch drawings,
Baczek said. "When I saw these works together — the collaboration between two artists and the solo artist dealing with her own life — I thought it would go together well."
That was when Doore reach out to Baczek.
"Sandra is interested in how technology changes how we communicate," Baczek explained. "She’s fascinated by texting and how us using all of these devices is having an affect on our psyche."
The plan is to have Doore transform the Badami Gallery through her paintings and drawings into an overwhelming space where people will feel bombarded with text, Baczek said.
"As part of the interactive element, we are going to ask that people not speak while they’re in the gallery so they can think about how they can interact with people without using language," she said. "
After scheduling Doore’s exhibit, Baczek sat back and reassessed the exhibits.
"I found not only were they dealing with the same theme of human communication, but the works are all by women in the art world," she said.
That struck her because through her research, Baczek found the art world does have a gender bias and more men who get opportunities to show their works than women.
"I, myself, have been influenced by the Guerilla Girls, a well-known female activist group who fight discrimination in politics, art, film and pop culture," Baczek said. "They bring awareness of how women artists are treated by larger art museums."
Another influence was the Gallery Tally Project headed by Micol Hebron in Los Angeles.
"She asks people to look at galleries internationally and across the country to see how many men and women they each represent and how many of the men get gallery shows as opposed to women," Baczek said. "She has found only 30 percent of the women get these shows, and that’s what’s been happening now.
"So, when I realized that these exhibits we’re going to show at the Kimball Art Center was an all-women show, I knew we needed to draw attention to that," Baczek emphasized. "This is an important issue, and we need to talk about it."
The Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., will present "100% Women: Four Women to Watch," three-gallery show by Bonnie Sucec and Susan Beck, Susan Cofer and Sandra Doore. The official opening will be Feb. 27, but the exhibits at the Main and Garage Galleries will be on display beginning Feb. 13. For more information, visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org.
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