STOCKTON -- Located on the campus of San Joaquin Delta College, the Horton Art Gallery presents "The New Domestics: Finding Beauty in the Mundane" from March 7-22.
The exhibition asks big questions about gender, identity, and politics. Curated by Gail Enns, director of Celadon Arts, the show celebrates the work of eight notable women artists of the Bay Area and Central Coast: Mitra Fabian, Victoria May, Maria Porges, Judy Shintani, Lisa Solomon, Katherine Sherwood and The Temple Sisters.
"Applying a distinct female perspective, artists in 'The New Domestics' challenge the way we look at common household products and domestic processes," Enns said. "Their use of fabric, thread, common products, and things found in or near the home, add to the context of their art and raise questions that grapple with larger social and environmental concerns."
The gallery will open at 12:30 p.m. March 7 for a gallery talk with Enns and two of the exhibiting artists, Ashlee and Holly Temple. An opening reception will follow at 5 p.m. with exhibiting artists in attendance. The gallery is always free and open to the public.
"O-Juku/108 Knots" by Lisa Solomon, above;
"Miss Mrs. Ms. Series, At the Club" by The Temple Sisters, at top
The exhibition is purposely scheduled for the Delta College Women's History Month celebration, as the exhibition explores the perception of "women's work" through a feminist lens. For example, the "Sampler Series" is an "exploration into the authority of words that are used to denigrate and diminish women," the Temple Sisters said. "Placed in the context of a 'sampler,' rendered in an elegant script via the use of pergamano and entwined into a white background of delicate lace-like collage, the viewer is asked to explore levels of femininity, domesticity and implied shame. The stitching of samplers was historically taught to women from a young age as a way to promote and signal both virtue and achievement."
Gallery Director Jan Marlese added, "In this political and social climate where women and their allied partners have once again come out in force to stand for the protection of women's rights, safety, health, and equality, 'The New Domestics' is a timely exhibit that prompts viewers to consider, reflect and address the continued nuances of a changing, but still patriarchal, society."
Mitra Fabian incorporates resistors and capacitors, normally found on circuit boards, in sculptural and flat works. Their electrical function becomes obsolete as she focuses on their aesthetic potential.
Victoria May fuels her artwork with tension and dichotomy to reflect the fundamental struggles inherent in the human condition. Her work merges the delicate with the strong in an attempt to seduce and repel, to obscure and reveal and to combine the hand and the machine. Using the framework of cultural constructs, such as abstraction, codification, circumscription, her work highlights the absurdity they often impose. By pitting the organic or visceral against the institutional, she seeks to reveal a dark humor or tender fragility in the seeming contortions that often underpin our lives.
Maria Porges transforms discarded books, combining them with hardware and text, giving them a new life as art objects. This process functions both as reclamation of their value and as recognition of the decreasing role of books in a digital media world.
Katherine Sherwood investigates the point at which the essential aspects of art, medicine, and disability intersect. Her works juxtapose abstracted medical images, such as cerebral angiograms of the artist’s brain, with fluid renderings of ancient patterns. She incorporates cloth, lace, thread and other materials to explore and reveal the strange nature of our time and current visual culture.
Judy Shintani uses cultural objects and transforms them to reflect the loosening connection to her ancestry and culture and the dissection of stereotypes. Instead of adorning the body, serving the deconstructed garments become symptoms of a broader social discomfort and represent not only the personal space but also the liminal space where the transformation of tradition, culture, and structure takes place.
Lisa Solomon creates domestic, gender-related work highlighting concepts of temporality, transition, memory and perception. Her work questions and deconstructs the very nature of identity through the exploration of mediums traditionally associated with “women’s work” and the archetypes of domesticity, the positioning of women and labor in society and the relevance of classical art mediums in contemporary art.
The Temple Sisters investigate the hidden psychological injuries that women routinely endure. Their mined media work draws from household materials such as house paints, paper, vintage tape, string and sewing patterns. Collaboration, both in applied method as well as conceptually, is at the core of their work. They each find the implicit trust required by working in tandem is an integral part of their art. A shared history and shared aesthetic emerges as a partnership in paint and paper.
Of special note, the Gallery would like to recognize artist Ashlee Temple, who is also a theater arts professor at Delta College.
Celadon Arts has produced art exhibitions in galleries, museums and art spaces since 1989. Its mission is to organize and strengthen community relationships and cultural awareness through contemporary art. Celadon recognizes that exhibitions can serve as a catalyst for leaders to form alliances with leading artists in their communities. In so doing, communities foster long-term commitments to arts education and develop partnerships benefitting educational and cultural institutions, the private sector and public entities.
L.H. Horton Jr Gallery is a fine arts exhibition program within the Visual Arts Department of San Joaquin Delta College, and a venue of Delta Center for the Arts. The Gallery presents contemporary art exhibitions, lectures and workshops. The Gallery program supports student learning outcomes in the visual arts curriculum, building knowledge in the aesthetic, technical, cultural and historical context of the visual arts.
Jan Marlese, Gallery Director