Thursday, January 15, 2009

Re/Formations: Disability, Women, and Sculpture: Exhibit Opening 1/15 (x-SDS)

From January 16 through February 27, the Van Every/ Smith Galleries at Davidson College will present RE/FORMATIONS: Disability, Women, and Sculpture.

Untitled (blue high heeled women's pumps, with bent wooden heels). Part of the RE/FORMATIONS installation, Molt, with Scurs*, 2008

Five female artists will exhibit sculpture that examines disability not as mental or physical insufficiency, but as a cultural identity. The artists included are Nancy Fried, Rebecca Horn, Judith Scott, Harriet Sanderson, and Laura Splan. Re/Formations, the first exhibit of its kind, was born of the desire to explore the intersection of disability and female identity as expressed through the medium of sculpture. These identities, while not identical, hold so much in common. Women and the disabled have been relegated to secondary status in society, cast as those excessive and unruly bodies against which the normate defines itself. The exhibit contains both sculptures and installations that are by turns contemplative and confrontational, and explore a number of questions: what is the new disability art? How can art make material the disability experience? If an artist’s mobility or intentionality do not match what we think of as “typical,” what possibilities does that open up for invigorating how we understand art itself?

There will be a panel discussion on “Women, Disability, and Art” on January 15th at 7 p.m. in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room of The Alvarez College Union featuring Dr. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Dr. Ann Millet-Gallant, Laura Splan, Harriet Sanderson, Jessica Cooley, and moderated by myself.

Untitled (JS 33), 2004 Mixed Media (fiber and found objects including a child-sized chair and tire rim with spokes) 17x21x29”

The exhibition opening and dessert reception will follow the panel discussion from 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the Van Every/Smith Galleries in the Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center. The galleries are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. For information, call 704-894-2575. Please note that the exhibit is fully accessible and audio described.

Please note that there are two other exhibits complementing Re/Formations; an exhibit of works from the Davidson College collection with disability themes, and an exhibit in the Union of works from Charlotte’s LifeSpan, Inc., a local arts organization that works with disabled artists.

This exhibit has been co-curated by Jessica Cooley ‘05, Assistant Curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries, and Ann M. Fox, Associate Professor of English. After Davidson College, it will travel to the National Institute of Art & Disabilities in Richmond, CA.

RE/FORMATIONS: Disability, Women, and Sculpture is made possible through the generous support of:

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
The Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation, Inc
Wachovia Corporation
Davidson College Friends of the Arts
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC
Davidson College Dean of Students Office
Davidson College English Department
Davidson College German Department
Davidson College Gender Studies Concentration
Davidson College Medical Humanities Program
Davidson College Public Lectures Committee
LifeSpan Incorporated
The Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council (a state agency)
The National Endowment for the Arts
The North Carolina Arts Council with funding from the state of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.


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