The Chicago art venue Woman Made Gallery has accepted one of my mixed media artworks for display in its latest juried show, Home, A Virtual Exhibition.
Juror Jennifer Weigel selected my Broken Home piece to include in this exhibit, which runs Friday, July 3, through Thursday, July 30, 2020, and features work by 123 artists from the U.S. as well as Canada, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom.
See The Show Now – Virtually
The show is available for viewing online only, due to restrictions on large gatherings due to current health conditions.
You can see the show now by visiting Woman Made Gallery’s website page dedicated to the Home, A Virtual Exhibition show. On that page, you’ll see two tabs – “Description” and “See The Work.” Click the “See The Work” tab to see the entire show, including my Broken Home mixed media piece.
The show is organized alphabetically by each artist’s last name, so scroll down to the Ns to find my name and click the thumbnail image for my art.
You’ll find both the image of my art as well as my artist statement about this piece and the idea of home – how it’s sometimes not the safe place we hope for (and how we can handle that).
Facebook Live Opening Sat., July 11
As part of this show, Woman Made Gallery will host a Facebook live virtual opening on Saturday, July 11.
The opening will feature a panel discussion moderated by juror Jennifer Weigel and featuring several artists with work included in the show.
More About The Exhibit
When Woman Made issued a call for art earlier this year around the theme of home, I knew I wanted to be part of this show. Here’s what the art gallery shared when asking artists to send work for consideration:
“Due to Covid-19 the theme of home is particularly relevant now. With the Stay at Home orders everywhere, so much of life is impacted. Home is often presumed to be a safe sanctuary or retreat that one goes to reconnect with themselves, but that is not the experience for many who face trauma and violence at home or who do not have a stable home to go to. How have the Stay at Home orders impacted this for so many people globally? How have they navigated resources and relationships from isolation? What of their physical and emotional well-being? And what of those who cannot stay at home because they are essential in their positions or cannot take time off of work and keep their jobs? How has this impacted their relationship to home and loved ones they want to protect there?”
In response, I immediately began working on a new mixed media piece that expressed my current feelings about the concept of “home.”
About Broken Home
The result was Broken Home. It’s made from a board that measures 20 inches high by 14 inches wide, which I painted with watercolor to express the idea of a home changing, breaking up, even erupting as it undergoes painful yet necessary changes.
The heart of this piece consists of several pieces of a broken Lenox china dinner plate.
It’s one of the plates from our “good china,” for which my husband and I registered more than 30 years ago prior to our wedding. We received 10 place settings from generous wedding guests, among other gifts, and we have enjoyed these beautiful dishes for decades. We use them every autumn, for three months, before switching to another set. (By a series of events, we have ended up with four sets of dishes, so we use one for each season as a way to mark the yearly passage of time with its cycles and seasons.)
This plate broke a few years ago, and when we went to pick up the pieces and throw them out, I couldn’t bring myself to let them go. They are beautiful to me, even in their broken state. So I saved them in a little stack in my art studio.
The pieces are sharp and potentially dangerous. They perfectly express my feelings and the jagged state of my world at this stage of life.
In 2019, my husband and I lost many, many loved ones and friends and colleagues. Among them were both our fathers. As a result, almost the entire generation that came before us is now gone – and certainly all the parents and other older people who lived nearby and whom we saw regularly.
As so often happens when the last parent dies, one’s immediate family undergoes more than just a death and a period of mourning. In that moment, the thread that held a family together breaks, and people move on and move away and move apart.
I can take comfort during this time of grief and of health concerns worldwide, knowing I have a safe and warm home and loving husband. And yet not all my family is as lucky. Among my relations are those who are homeless, in the midst of divorce, or afraid about job security. Also, after a lifetime of all my siblings living relatively near one another, one will relocate to another continent soon.
My family of origin is breaking up, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Broken Hopes – Yet New Hopes
Broken Home expresses my despair and grief at last year’s onslaught of personal change, now magnified by a virus that threatens so many lives – and livelihoods – and has no cure yet.
Even in times like these, however, there are new hopes.
As sad as I have felt, as weary from grief and labors both physical and emotional, I continue to harbor hope for the future. In part, this feeling comes from seeing the generation after us begin to start families. New people coming into the world have provided an antidote to so much darkness in the past 18 months.
The watercolor background for the broken china expresses that feeling. At bottom left is a dark area, out of which erupts an explosion of red, orange, and siena. Above those jagged lines of force, the lines transform to a more hopeful yellow.
Next to the yellow are dots of ash, thrown up in the air in all the destruction, much as a volcano spews forth ash along with lava when it erupts. Yet behind them is a light area with some blue, as if there’s a clear sky that will emerge when the explosions and tearing down are through.
And from the ashes – of my breaking apart family and the current broken world – will rise something new.
A reinvented family made of new alignments and relationships.
A new world we have yet to invent.
See The Show – And My Piece – Online
See the show online now by visiting the Woman Made Gallery exhibition page for Home, A Virtual Exhibition.
Add a comment below if you wish with your thoughts about home, my mixed media piece, and the exhibition.
Join Me Sat., July 11
Join me Saturday, July 11, at the Facebook live opening for Home, A Virtual Exhibition. I will be attending this event, and I look forward to having you with us.