Monday, July 14, 2014

UNO Artists Participate in New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center's "Mark of the Feminine"

Eight students, alumni and faculty at the University of New Orleans are participating this month in an exhibition at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center. The exhibition, Mark of the Feminine, is the first in a series of exhibitions to be produced by the CAC focusing on the community of artists working in New Orleans. The show will open next month as part of the city's acclaimed Whitney White Linen Night, an outdoor tour of some of New Orleans' finest art museums and galleries.

See the Exhibit

Mark of the Feminine runs Saturday, Aug. 2 through Saturday, Oct. 2 at the New Orleans Contemporary Center,

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2 as part of Whitney White Linen Night 2014 at the CAC.

"Putting out a call to New Orleans's women artists to apply to Mark of the Feminine ... was meant to seek out and reaffirm the strength and diversity of women artists working in New Orleans at this time," said curator Regine Basha. "It was my conviction that the women artists of this region are holders of culture and continuity and who thrive by a deep-seated resilience that ultimately makes New Orleans so singular in this country. It was important to also honor artists who are both embracing and/or questioning their femininity in individual ways that break open our stereotypes of what 'feminine' is as a quality."

The 2014 exhibition of Mark of the Feminine features works by a selection of multigenerational female and female-identifying contemporary artists working in a variety of mediums, said Basha in a release. Thirty-three artists, including the UNO group, will show works selected from a pool of more than 340 entries for this landmark exhibition.

Incoming UNO graduate student Meg Turner; Natalie McLaurin, who will defend her thesis at UNO this fall, and UNO Artist in Residence in Photography Ariya Martin will show their work in the exhibition, said Kathy Rodriguez, director of the UNO St. Claude Gallery and fine arts instructor at the University.

UNO MFA alumnae Vanessa Centeno (2014); Valerie Corradetti (2014); Nina Schwanse (2012); Maxx Sizeler (2001); and Monica Zeringue (2006) also will show their work in the elite exhibition.

Zeringue's work, Shewolf, previously appeared in the Alumni Open Call exhibit curated by UNO art historian Rebecca Reynolds at the UNO St. Claude Gallery last March, said Rodriguez.

Mark of the Feminine purposely mingles generations and various genres of art-making, said Basha, who described the exhibit as a mix of vernacular craft and ritual-based work with newer emerging media in contemporary art.

"Some works are purely visionary and abstract while others — such as in photography — capture the grim social realism of local figures or street scenes," she said. "All in all the work is undoubtedly rooted in its place and context and engenders a kaleidoscopic view of artists committed to making work in New Orleans today."

The show is designed "to offer a productive 'contamination' from one to another," she said, adding that is how she views New Orleans' art ecosystem in general.

"What becomes immediately evident in the work brought together for Mark of the Feminine, is how the vantage point of the 'feminine,' in its full spectrum, speaks to a timeless yet ever-evolving, set of greater human concerns affecting our society at large," said Basha.

"Poignant reflections on loss, the complexities of motherhood, female stereotypes or marriage, encounters with violence and renewal, as well as explorations of sexuality and eroticism — are all explored with either poignant candor or insightful humor."

 

Read More

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