Highlighting women artists and examining the feminized subject within the Gardiner Art Gallery’s permanent collection
May 10 - June 4, 2021
The Gardiner Gallery of Art is pleased to present Visualizing Femme, a group exhibition of fifteen artists with works by Robert Bornhuetter, Gina Lombardi Bratter, Rena Penn Brittan, Laura Dronzek, Michelle Himes-McCroy, Anita Jung, Robert Massey, Phyllis McGibbon, Loraine Moore, Robert Redbird, Connie Ragan Seaborn, Roxanne Sexauer, Harunobu Suzuki, and Geneva H. Wise.
Visualizing Femme pays homage to the historical connection between pioneering women’s education at OSU and the Gardiner as a site for art and learning. The Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts, originally The Women’s Building was built in 1910, and has since undergone several developments. The space has housed residence halls, been utilized for women’s physical education, karate, speech, agriculture extension, drafting, and more. The name was changed to the Gardiner Hall with respect to Maud Gardiner, a pioneer in OSU Home Economics. The Gardiner Gallery of Art retains the name, alluding to its origins in providing women’s educational momentum.
In curating this exhibition, Earwood and Jennings noticed the Gardiner’s collection highlighted several women artists and women as subjects. Previous exhibitions that showcased the Gardiner Gallery’s permanent collection had not displayed this aspect of the Gardiner’s holdings. Depictions of women in this exhibition range from the preconceived notions of feminine identity, power hierarchies, and traditional gender roles as seen in the work of Robert Massey’s Study. In contrast, the women artists included in this show shift their view, often abstracting their environments and fracturing the bodies they depict. Anita Jung’s Sending: The Legend of Iris #7 pieces together a world of layered line and textured paint while text phases in and out of obscurity. Halo and Sounding (Witch Craft in Groton) both split the figure, softening the view of the body capturing tender moments between subject and audience. Michelle Himes-McCrory’s Always, Sometimes, Never- The American Ideal returns the conversation back around to expectations while complicating the conversation to include the roles as developed by American culture. A young feminine figure leads the nuclear family down a path while evaluative commentary hovers and surrounds their forms. This exhibition aims to provoke questions surrounding assumptions and expressions around femininity and the feminine gaze. In what ways does feminine quality and social constructions of gender abound and limit the viewers’ understanding of an artwork?
This exhibition is curated by graduate Art History MA candidates Jacie Earwood and Macy Jennings in conjunction with Gardiner Gallery Director Cassidy Petrazzi. This project allowed for both students to organize, curate, and construct an exhibition from the beginning to fruition. This provides real time experience that expands graduate students’ repertories in preparation for career development.
For more information on this exhibition and related programming, or to subscribe to our email list please visit art.okstate.edu/gardiner-gallery or contact us by email at email@example.com
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Exhibitions and programs in the Gardiner Gallery of Art are sponsored by OSU Student Fees, The College of Arts and Sciences, Donors to the Gallery, and the Oklahoma Arts Council. All events are free and open to the public.