I was extremely impressed with the work Lauren O’Neil and her team of Exeter student curators have done to develop a beautiful exhibition that includes detailed artist statements relating each work’s connection to the exhibition’s theme as identified in the show’s title: Representing Feminism(s). The show includes the work of thirty artists in a range of media from traditional painting, sculpting, drawing and photography to video and digital installations. Rather than defining feminism, the exhibition generates a fertile ground for questions and discussion about various historical aspects of feminism and how feminism may or may not apply to the present. I am pleased to be a part of this exhibition and hope it inspires much dialogue/discussion among student viewers and visitors to the gallery during the next few months and beyond.
While I was visiting the exhibit, Teresa Ascencao was working on her installation Laced Cobblestone on the slate floor of the gallery entrance. It is a design made of flour and water and was first created for the International Azores Fringe Festival on the island of Pico, Azores. Quoting from her artist statement: The work “…is made of impermanent materials to draw attention to the fragility of actual laceworks and the invisibility of women’s domestic work.” As I watched her working on it, I commented that it reminded me of sand mandalas made by Tibetan monks at the Hood Museum a few years ago. The idea of impermanence of one’s work is something that I have been focusing on recently. Perhaps this is why I was most impressed with the “message” it brought to the exhibition.
February 23-April 21, 2018
Representing Feminism(s) was developed by a team of Phillips Exeter Academy student curators to consider how feminism can be represented and, when necessary, reconceived: Gillian Allou ’19, Nicole Blanco ’20, Mai Hoang ’20, Jacob Hunter ’19, Maya Kim ’18, Andrea Liu ’19, Natalie Love ’19, Rose Martin ’19, Olivia Ross ’19, Gabriella Sanders ’18, Alexandra van Dijkum ’19, Luna Vassao ’18, and Wendi Yan ’18.
Lamont Gallery, Frederick R. Mayer Art Center, Phillips Exeter Academy
20 Main Street, Exeter NH, 03833
603-777-3461 / email@example.com