The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Student Gallery, sUgAR, will host a reception for the exhibition, Homage to Femmage on Thursday, March 29, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., located at 1 East Center on the Downtown Fayetteville Square. This show will include a assortment of works curated by Abigail Grix including sculpture, painting, collage, ceramics, photography and performance, featuring work by artists Dani Godreau, Sam Mack, Katie McColgan, Anthony Kascak, Ashley Eyster, Cydnei Mallory, Rebecca Drolen, Hannah McBroom, Danny R.W. Baskin and Becky Posnak.
Homage to Femmage will exhibit works by contemporary artists that explore concepts related to the idea Femmage , a word originally defined as “traditional women’s techniques to achieve their art, sewing, piecing, hooking, cutting, appliquéing, cooking and the like–activities also engaged in by men but assigned in history to women. This way of working investigates the idea of ‘other’, a feminine aesthetic, and appealing to established power structures to foster appreciation for women’s art.”
The goal of the show is to provide contemporary examples of art that could be classified as Femmage and to contextualize materials and traditions of making. Many of the works in the show although not traditional Femmage, respect and honor the influence of Femmage artists. These works offer examples and new suggestions through landscape, patterning and collage. Video projections become photographic while scrap materials are transformed into memes. Instagram becomes a platform for the “diarist”, while simultaneously blurring the line between an audience and an audience of intimates. As the work expands our ideas on Femmage , it also rejects classifications that require a specific gender identity. Instead, these works might ask questions like, “What are contemporary depictions of the woman/life contexts? Is gender necessary or relevant to the artists? How is this different than the (singular) consideration of “woman”?”
This show contains expected and unexpected examples of collection and creation. Sewn photographs and scraps of string bound together provide Eyster the opportunity to create new compositions and forms from collected material. Piercing and appliquéing photographs, Eyster’s work embodies many of the classifications of femmage. Godreau’s cuttings reference patterns seen in women made objects like doilies. Similarly, Posnak’s well crafted ceramics utilizes abstract forms to create delightful patterning celebrating an aesthetic object that also has a functional life. Other works utilizes photography to create art that functions in a new way. Drolen’s work falls somewhere between collage and assemblage classifications. Her FACTORY series explores the idea of hair and other parts of the body as a means of protection, defense and disguise. Kascak’s photographs address a woman-life context in an untraditional way. He alludes to convert imagery and has the viewer re-imagine hidden mother photographs, where children were photographed being held by a mother who was hidden underneath a sheet of fabric. Mack also address their audience through a lens. Bringing into question the idea of an “audience of intimates” through their use of internet platforms, and by placing these shared digital files in a new context– the gallery space. Mack refusing categorization, offers their audience a consensual and active voyeurism to allow the viewer space for personal investigation. Mallory’s work also confronts viewers on a digital platform. Her selfies offer a diarists perspective, and lead to questions of audience. As new technology allows internet users to access Mallory’s photos, new questions arise. Is she inviting the viewer into her space, or is the viewer inviting her into their space?
The sUgAR Gallery is an interdepartmental exhibition space featuring the visual research of students, faculty, and visiting lecturers from the Department of Art and Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design representing the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design. SugAR is made possible by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Art, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, and the University of Arkansas’ Facilities Management.