This spring, Artspace features several exhibitions that explore the themes of domesticity and the feminine mystique. While women’s issues have persisted in cultural dialogue throughout the 21st century, the months after the presidential election have been characterized by an increased impulse to make women’s voices heard. The artists featured throughout the building touch on various feminist concepts including family, home, identity and the body that work together to provide a complex vision of female experience and perception.
March First Friday welcomed three new exhibitions. In Gallery Two, the group show, Holding On, showcases work by three female artists; ceramicist Jessica Dupuis, mixed media artist Karen Hillier and photographer Sarah Malakoff. Each of these women examines family identity through the exploration of domestic objects. Come Closer, a solo exhibition by Meredith College professor, Holly Fischer features surreal sculptures inspired by the female form. Fischer includes cast paper and embroidery pieces that offer a beautiful and humorous counterpart to the threatening spikes and scales that adorn her ceramics. Working under the name Notary Public, local artists Jeff Bell and Megan Sullivan created a site specific collaborative installation in the building’s lobby titled Project Reject Is Underway. Through the manipulation of found objects, an imagined domestic space is created, where the familiar is transformed into something both humorous and unsettling.
Lauren Kalman’s show, But if the Crime is Beautiful… opens in Gallery One on March 25th with a reception April 7th from 6-10pm. Kalman’s exhibition includes photography and sculpture that explore the problematic ways that women are commoditized and subsequently devalued in our society. Using hooded figures, formalist compositions and gold as signifiers, the show is a powerful and startling look at women in contemporary culture. This exhibition is sponsored by Clean Design.