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Archive for the ‘Gallery Shows’ Category

S.P.A.C.E. Gallery Conjures a Witchy Exhibition

By SADIE WILLIAMS

On Friday, May 5, a band of witches will take over the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery on Pine Street in Burlington. That’s right, witches. Kind of.

The show, titled “Conjuring: She Rises,” is a group effort loosely curated by artists Beth Robinson, Jules Polk, Morgan Stark and Athena Kafantaris. “Curated” in the sense that those four women created the theme and selected the artists, but they aren’t exerting much influence beyond that.

Timed to coincide with the 325th anniversary of the Salem witch trials, the show connects the archetype of the witch to feminism through performance, real-time rituals, paintings, sculptures, photographs and video installation.

Each artist has contributed content that indicates a highly personal and political motivation for participating. Whether it’s a display of wands or photographs of all-female ceremonies deep in the woods, the work is decidedly feminist and steeped in ritual. It proclaims creative female power in its many forms.

Robinson is known for her line of Strange Dolls, meticulously crafted figures with macabre costumes and makeup. The seed for “Conjuring” sprouted last year, she said, when Polk bought one of her creations. Polk collects kitchen witches — small dolls intended to ward off evil spirits — and thought Robinson’s doll would fit right in.

"Lady of Lethe” by Beth Robinson

“Lady of Lethe” by Beth Robinson

Soon after, Polk proposed a show about kitchen witches and asked Robinson to curate it. The latter artist, who organizes the annual “Art of Horror” exhibition every October at S.P.A.C.E., said yes. Just not in the fall.

October passed, and then came the general election, and Donald Trump became the president-elect. Suddenly, the proposed show took on a whole new purpose: showcasing female power.

Two weeks after the election, Polk and Robinson met with Kafantaris and Stark. “We hashed it out a little and realized that this whole idea of a witch hunt that’s going on in the world right now is perfectly applicable,” Robinson said. “So we decided to get 13 [women] artists — a coven of artists — making work based on that theme.”

The “coven” doesn’t view the witch hunt as a simple metaphor. The artists draw a clear line from the historical persecution of healers, single women and females in general — under the umbrella term “witch” — to the manner in which the current administration incites hatred of immigrants and people of color, as well as disrespects women.

“Ashes I” by Athena Kafantaris

“Ashes I” by Athena Kafantaris

As Kafantaris put it, “Instead of fear of [women] copulating in the woods with demons, we have xenophobia.”

Polk weighed in on the subject over email. “A witch hunt is the Muslim ban,” she wrote. “A witch hunt is hunting down illegal immigrants for sport. A witch hunt is when your life and liberty are threatened because you are classified as hysterical.”

She concluded: “We overclassify people as ‘other’ and tend to take their rights away.”

“Conjuring” is perhaps the first show of its kind in Vermont, but witches are hardly new in art or feminism. Proponents of the latter have often touted the totem of the witch. A late ’60s activist group called Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy From Hell — or W.I.T.C.H. — dedicated itself to overthrowing the patriarchy with a variety of witch-themed political stunts. These included a group hex on New York’s financial district on Halloween in 1968.

Recently, a new branch of W.I.T.C.H. surfaced in Portland, Ore. It has adopted a slew of names that yield the acronym and penned a manifesto that claims the word “witch” for all those deemed “other” by a patriarchal and oppressive society.

In many ways, the witchy elements of “Conjuring” are in line with that manifesto. An excerpt reads: “A witch is a fearsome creature, inspiring terror and awe, channeling a primal, visceral energy in the name of peace, progress, justice and harmony. A witch is a conduit for transformation. A witch taps into the power within and harnesses the power without in service of a better world.”

The concept of internal power resonates with the organizers of the S.P.A.C.E. exhibit. As she explored her art practice post-election, Kafantaris said, “I went harder back into what’s true in my life. I went into the woods, where the noise receded. I felt more sure of myself and what I believe in that dip of faith.”

”Momento Mori” by Annika Rundberg

”Momento Mori” by Annika Rundberg

One project that arose from her inward retreat was a series called “Ashes,” for which Kafantaris videotaped women responding physically to the concept of “rebirth and regrowth after devastation.” Footage and stills from that shoot will appear in “Conjuring.” The image used to promote the show, of five women dressed in black, holding hands and encircling a tree, comes from Kafantaris’ series.

For her part, gallery owner Christy Mitchell recounts a recent compulsion to craft a ritual related to personal power. “I had to let go of something,” she said, “so I went to the lake and asked, ‘What am I supposed to do?'”

That experience resulted in videos and images that are also part of “Conjuring.” They address the question Mitchell asked herself during her experience: “Can we conjure power from within ourselves without knowing how to do it?”

Robinson is contributing a series of dolls titled “Madonna Whores.” They explore Sigmund Freud’s theory of the Madonna-whore complex, which holds that men can’t love what they desire or desire what they love. The dolls are depicted in various stages of restraint, silenced by ball gags, masks and duct tape. Anne Sexton’s “Buying the Whore” poem is inscribed on their pale bodies.

In addition to the work on the walls, the opening reception for “Conjuring” will offer multiple performances. Kafantaris will perform as the elaborately costumed Throat of the Loon. The Accaliae, a theatrical belly-dancing group, will appear, and Stark will lead a ritual ceremony.

Other participating artists include Wylie Sofia Garcia, Leslie Fry, Sarah Vogelsang-Card, Meredith Muse, Nyx Black, Melaney Pettini, Leslie Roth, Annika Rundberg and Nikki Laxar.


Originally Published: MAY 03, 2017
Link to original article 

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A multi media show organized by female artists for female artists, “Conjuring: She Rises”, came together in honor of the 325 anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials. Women throughout the ages have and continue to struggle with finding their voices as powerful agents of change within society. We created this show to honor a gathering of our vibrant and powerful voices as modern day female artists working and living in Vermont.

Participating artists include:
Christy Mitchell
Beth Robinson
Leslie Frye
Wylie Garcia
Meredith Muse
Sarah Vogelsang-Card
Morgan Stark
Nyx Black
Athena Kafantaris
Melaney Pettani
Leslie Roth
Nikki Laxar
Annika Rundberg

With administrative help from Abigail Feldman.

 

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They are 18.5 inches tall sculptures that are mounted to a wood base. Hand sculpted using a mix of polymer clays that, when cured, have a very lifelike, pristine quality. Their clothing is white velveteen and 100% cotton to represent their innocence. They are topped with real human hair.

To compliment the sculptures, I collaborated with jewelry designer, Annika Rundberg, in creating emblems of the dangers of wearing your heart on your sleeve.  I chose concept over function using genuine fish hooks. They are SHARP! The most dangerous parts are bound though they have tiny barbs that have potential to getting caught in ones hair – or an embrace. Wear them as a symbol but not recommended for daily wear.

hookearrings

This sculptures will be on display through the month of October for the annual Art of Horror exhibition and the jewelry is available through my etsy shop. Please contact me if you would like to red dot any of these items: info at strangedolls dot net

The sculptures are $498 each and the earrings are $38 (large) and $28 (small)

hooks2bhooks2ahooks1ahooks1bethbeth-6

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A Little Twisted

Had such a nice visit to A Little Twisted this weekend. I dropped off work to sell in their shop, fell in love with Robert Kennedy’s taxidermy art, had a spirited chat with the owner, got a tour of their metal/glass/wood shop, and watched a gorgeous sunset in the tiny town of Brandon, VT. This shop is one of those roadside attractions you do not want to miss. Even though the gallery is small, the artwork selection is awesome for folks who love outsider art, dark art, geekdom, etc.

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Get up close and personal with my work and many talented doll artists at “Dollirious”. Opening Friday, July 3rd at 6pm at Most Wanted Fine Art, 5015 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15224

Facebook RSVP (the event page features excellent profiles of the doll artists that will be in the show)

“Whether for religious, social, or creative commentary, the doll has long been a part of humankind’s history and our fascination with the tiny representations of ourselves spans centuries. On July 3rd, Most Wanted Fine Art resident artist and dollmaker, Macabre Noir welcomes more than 15 doll artists and makers from all over the United States and Canada in Dollirious: The Art of The Doll. The exhibit features doll work of all mediums that celebrates the dark and unusual, spiritual, and whimsical sides of doll art.

Featuring works by:
Nicole Mahlimae
ChriSty KaNe
Amber Leilani Middleton
Junker Jane
Sheri DeBow
Steph Sciullo
Sarah Legault
Lazy Voodoo
Morose & Macabre’s House of Oddities: Macabre Noir & Aaron Doctor
Beth Robinson’s Strange Dolls
Art Dolls by Ugly Shyla
Jacqui Gallant
Simone Young

FLYER for web

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So excited to be included in the Main Street Museum‘s “Kunstkamera” exhibit.

The exhibit commemorates the 300th anniversary of the Peter the Great museum in St Petersburg, Russia—the Kunstkamera. The Main Street Museum is re-making the display cabinets in eclectic homages known to many as “cabinets of curiosities.”

My bird dolls and prints will be on display as a part of this celebration of our historical obsession with “natural and human curiosities and rarities”.

Read more about the Main Street Museum’s exhibit and activities around this event

About the original Kunstkamera
And the Kunstkamera Wiki

“We’ve lost our sense of wonder and participation in museums. We go into museums and are passive,” Ford said. “Wall labels tell us, often, what to think as much as they explain; audio tours shuffle us through; and lines are drawn between the arts, science and engineering of an era, as if they existed completely independent of one another.” So Ford has arrayed in his museum an assortment of the eccentric, the lost and forgotten relics of other eras” – Curator, David Fairbanks Ford, interviewed in Art Notes

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One of the prints from the “Blood Ties” show is available in S.P.A.C.E. Gallery’s August Art Auction. The print is 30″ X 20″ mounted on foam core. Bidding starts at $75! Bidding increments are a minimum of $10 each on this piece. Keep in mind – this print is normally sold for $200.

The auction ends on Friday, August 30 at 9pmEST online. There will be a closing reception at the gallery from 5pm – 9pm where you can bid in person.

All you have to do is place your bid in the comments section here: http://augustartauction.com/2013/08/02/sarah-vogelsang/

All proceeds go to S.P.A.C.E. Gallery!

2013-08-12_1104

S.P.A.C.E. Gallery
In The Soda Plant
@ Kilburn and Pine
266 Pine Street, Suite 105
Burlington, VT

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