‘Women’s Work’ and ceramics open exhibit season at BGSU

'Shredded Joy' by Mildred Johnson

'Jackstone 5' by Jess Benjamin

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University Galleries kicks off the fall season with two group shows, “Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit” and “The Aaron Macy Legacy Exhibition” in the Fine Arts Center.

“Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit” will be on view through Sept. 26 in the Willard Wankelman Gallery.  It was curated by noted historian Rickie Solinger, who selected 28 artists whose artwork uses utilitarian objects associated with “women’s work” to comment on the historical division of labor.  Everyday objects such as a dressmaker’s figure, diapers, kitchen and cleaning tools are transformed into pointed, witty or touching commentary.

"As I imagine the process here, I look at a tool that facilitated very hard and repetitive labor and that evokes women's degradation as domestic drudges,” Solinger said. “I look again, through my early 21st century eyes, at a moment when ‘old tools’ have become commodified and expensive, and I see costly beauty. ‘Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit’ puts utility in conversation with art, the past in conversation with the present.”

New York artist Debra Priestly, whose work is featured, will give a free public lecture at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 in 204 Fine Arts Center. Her mixed media works offer intimate stories about both her personal history and collective African-American history through photographic imagery that combines and contrasts past and current events.  Her visit is supported in part by the BGSU Ethnic Cultural Arts Program.

“The Aaron Macy Legacy Exhibition,” which will be on view through Sept. 17 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, features ceramic works by 16 gifted young artists.

Ten years ago, talented BGSU graduate student Aaron Macy died of a sudden illness as he was preparing to begin his professional artistic career. His devastated family established an annual ceramics scholarship in his name, which has also been supplemented by BGSU student fund-raising.  This exhibition highlights the recipients of that scholarship since 2002, both from BGSU and Northern Arizona University, where Macy received his undergraduate degree. Several of the artists will talk about their work at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at a closing reception for the exhibition.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.  Both exhibitions are free and open to the public.

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(Posted September 07, 2010 )