Curatorial > 2016 > STATE OF THE UNION: 10/21 - 11/20
STATE OF THE UNION, 10/21/16 - 11/20/16
ARTIST RECEPTION, Sunday, 10/23/16, 3-6pm
ARTIST TALKS, Saturday & Sunday, 11/15 & 11/16, 3-6pm
STATE OF THE UNION, curated by Anne Trauben, is an exhibition dealing with current social, political and environmental issues that weigh heavily during this most important election season. Featuring drawing, painting, print, sculpture and installation by artists Eve Ingalls, Joe Waks, Laurel Garcia Colvin, Margaret Roleke, Patricia Cazorla, Nancy Saleme, Patricia Dahlman and Tuan Tran. Alvin Pettit, Director of Jersey City’s Bethune Center, will have a SPECIAL PROJECT ROOM.
Eve Ingalls’ work investigates the state of our environment. Her sculptural forms reveal a world in which climate change caused by humans is assaulting natural and cultural boundaries. According to Joe Waks, “we live in an era in which our nation’s greatest endowments to humanity are the AR-15 assault rifle, twerking, Snapchat and hipster beards.” Joe’s work serves as a commentary on the kooky, interconnected world in which we live. Underscoring his passion for politics and popular culture, Joe’s work reflects our universal consumerist ethos by “recontextualizing” the icons and emblems common amongst disparate human civilizations, yet a pervasive ambivalence lies within. Laurel Garcia Colvin’s installation takes into consideration the historic event of this country’s first female Presidential candidate this year. She uses historical toile pattern backgrounds juxtaposed with contemporary situations in the foreground to address historical women’s issues and rights. Laurel dedicates her installation to “all the women, past and present, who have made my life and my daughters’ lives better, and continue the fight for the rights of all girls and women around the world, and to my role models, my grandmother Dorothy and my mother Mary Lee, who taught me to speak up for my rights and for the human rights of all women”. Margaret Roleke’s work explores sensationalism, consumerism and the crazy contradictions and relationships that develop when popular culture mixes with war and religion. Her sculptures include small toys presented in a playful elegant manner to speak of serious issues of consumption, consumerism, war, violence and religious extremism. Actual bullet casings and brass transform into jewel like abstractions. A percentage of all her art sales is donated to organizations that work for gun control. Patricia Cazorla and Nancy Saleme are a painter and sculptor duo who find their passion in public art and strongly believe that art can “widen perspectives and educate a community”. Their artworks are large-scale mixed media drawings that are translated into sculptures as well as wall, 3D, and ground murals and draw inspiration from the immigrant and migrant working-class community, combining beauty and meaning. Patricia Dahlman’s sculpture, SHELTER, addresses the current Syrian refugee crisis and her concern that the U.S. should offer more shelter to Syrians. Tuan Tran came to America from Vietnam in 2005 and witnessed post-911 high time: “wars abroad, economic downturn, President Obama’s impressive and emotional presidential campaign, elections and American’s choices”. These factors inspired him to paint 1000’s of portraits of President Obama. Tuan says his work has no political intention but offers an “artful aspiration from an Asian artist and his America reflexion”. Alvin Pettit, in a SPECIAL PROJECT ROOM, presents a selection of his social realist imagery from the last few years. Following in the tradition of African American realist artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner and Charles White, his work is concerned with historical and social issues and is on a quest for interesting nuances of colors and forms found in a particular subject. He finds satisfaction in bringing attention to skin complexions and body types that were largely ignored in the art he grew up.