Monday, April 25, 2022

Move Over Dick and Jane

More exciting news on the art front! This is QUITE the year!

My artwork, "Move Over Dick and Jane," has been accepted into the exhibition: “Let Me Tell You: Work by Women Artists, Taking Up Space” at Chris White Gallery. Opening Reception is Friday, May 6, from 5-8pm. I hope you can join us for this celebration of stories told by women! (fyi, I will be there for the later part, as we ALSO have a National Art Honor Society exhibition by Cab Calloway School of the Arts visual arts students at the Talleyville Frame Shoppe & Gallery. More info forthcoming!!

About my dear friend:
This collaborative painting is of my good friend Susan M. I met Susan through a high school friend who set us up on a friend 'blind date.' We immediately hit it off and bonded over our shared desire to learn how to salsa dance and brush up on our Spanish together! Ever since I met her, I knew that Susan was a serious powerhouse. She is this insanely smart, competent powerful woman who excels at so many of the things that to me are super intimidating, and truth be told, are often considered typically male dominated territory.
The woman wields power tools like no one else I know (and thankfully has helped me with many home projects!) and isn't afraid to knock down walls, rebuild them, and put them back up all by herself. She is an engineer and freaking mathematical genius! When I met her she was a bridge engineer (how many people do you know that you can drive down the road with and have them casually point out - oh, hey, I designed that bridge over there... WHAT?!?!?! SO COOL!!!!!) and has since moved up in the world to oversee massive construction efforts in our state on major highways!! (now you know who to blame for all those construction traffic delays, ha!) I love to think of her waltzing (or perhaps more accurately...salsa-ing) her way out of her bad-ass construction truck, with her officious deldot hat on, clipboard in hand, dolling out commands to all of the construction workers! Whether or not she does, I also like to imagine her sass-ily sassing people!
I also remember one night, I came over and she cooked me up some delicious enchiladas (an amazing cook on top of all this), and we talked about her job and all of the challenges she had to over come. Because let's be real she IS in a man's world! While the tide is changing, she was still one of the very few engineering majors in her class, and even of of the fewer bridge engineers in her job, and even FEWER female AND latina engineers on the job.
I honestly don't even have the words to convey how much I respect and love Susan. Not only is she a bad-ass in her job, but she (for awhile, before she had her baby - a beautiful baby girl!) tutored kids in math and SAT prep. And salsa danced?!?! And is an amazing friend???? Like.... yeah. Such an amazing person on literally every level. She has been there for me so many times on so many levels. I am so grateful to Susan for everything that she is, and everything that she brings to the world.
I can think of NO better role model for the next generation of kids out there - what an amazing example of what you can achieve and who you can be, despite all of the odds against you.
I love ya Susan, and thank you for being you!!!!
About the painting:
This work actually originated as a coloring book drawing, for my collaborative coloring book, A Portrait of Delaware. I then started working on a series of collaborative paintings/artworks of people that I know who are creating the change that they want to see in the world, and I could think of no better example than Susan. She isn't consciously setting the world on fire, she is simply following her passions, but by doing so is creating a role model for other women to follow in her footsteps. I love the idea of riffing off of the Dick and Jane readers that so many of us learned from when we were small children. These educational readers were great - if you were white and heteronormative. They set the standard not only for how to read but for societal expectations. Even today, there are still relatively few children's books that focus on the experiences of the "other." I like the idea of usurping this format for modern day experiences that can touch and resonate with a larger group of people, and help set a new norm through a collaborate approach with people from more diverse walks of life. Keep your eyes open for more of these works to come 😉
Exhibition Info:
The exhibition, curated by Jen Hintz Eggers and Rebecca Howell, features emerging female-identifying and non-binary artists participating in group storytelling. Space will be held for the voices and stories of those often relegated to secondary roles in patriarchal society and traditional gallery structures. The story an artist wishes to share and the manner in which they tell it is their choice. These stories will be shown, heard, honored, and revered in this space.