Womens’ voices into art

Clarke Reader
Posted 9/20/12

Art is a form of expression that allows all voices to be heard, and the Arvada Center is celebrating the diverse viewpoints of women in art with …

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Womens’ voices into art

Posted

Art is a form of expression that allows all voices to be heard, and the Arvada Center is celebrating the diverse viewpoints of women in art with three new exhibits.

“Women of Influence: Colorado Artists and Curators,” “Intimate Dialogue: Seven Women, Seven Voices” and “La Mexicana: Female Icons in Mexican Culture” are currently on display at the galleries in the center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard.

“Women of Influence” and “Intimate Dialogue” will run through Nov. 11, and “La Mexicana” is running through Dec. 16. The “La Mexicana” exhibit shows works from Denver’s Abarca Family Collection that pay homage to key female icons and characters in Mexican culture, including La Virgen (the Virgin Mary), La Adelita (a character from an old folk song) and La Luna (the moon).

The exhibit features paintings along with carvings, dolls and figurines that are key facets of the culture.

In the La Virgen area, an authentic shrine is set up to honor a recently deceased member of the Abarca family.

“Intimate Dialogue” uses seven artists to examine seven themes — scale, body, reciprocity, transparency, vulnerability, perception and space — from a woman’s perspective.

Each woman used a different medium to express her thoughts on her theme, according to exhibition manager Collin Parson. Those media range from photos to three-dimensional images from Heather Doyle-Maier, who takes used girl’s clothing to illuminate gender-specific experiences.

The largest exhibit is the “Women of Influence,” which features works from women from across the state.

“We spoke to seven curators from around the state, and had them recommend women of influence from their regions,” curatorial assistant Kristin Bueb said. “We have artists from Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Aspen and Paonia.”

By happy chance, Parson said, all the curators involved in selecting the artists were women, too.

He said the exciting thing about letting the various curators select the artists was that the center received work from artists that many had never heard of before. The variety of mediums on display is astounding, from paintings and photography to a spore-inspired seascape and a hundred-foot snake made out of shredded U.S. currency. The challenge was how to make a cohesive show out of such different pieces, and Parson said they decided to group artists together by similar themes.

“We originally thought of setting it up by region but decided instead to group by subject matter and visual similarities,” he said.

“The women-only exhibits were really started by the ‘La Mexicana’ exhibit,” Parson said. “For a while we wondered if it was still appropriate to do an all-female show, but when we looked in history books about Colorado, they still focus on two-thirds men, so we thought until the number is fifty-fifty, we should keep it up.”

For more information on the exhibits, call 720-898-7255 or visit www.arvadacenter.org.

Call for entries

The Arvada Center is putting out a call for entries for its juried Art of the State exhibit, which will run from Jan. 17 to March 31. The exhibit is open to all Colorado artists in all media, and there is an entry fee of $30.

The deadline for entries is midnight, Sunday, Oct. 14, and artists can apply at http://bit.ly/artofthestate. For more information, call 720-898-7251 or email galleries@arvadacenter.org.

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