Saturday, July 10, 2010

Paying tribute to the traditional roles of women

Currently, Ceres Gallery [547 West 27th Street Suite 201] has an exhibit featuring their member artists which closes Saturday July 17th. I'll get to my thoughts on some of the work I saw in a moment. First I want to give props to Ceres. I didn't know it existed until I visited (gallery spaces in Chelsea turn over fairly frequently). The mission of Ceres is:

"...a non-profit alternative center dedicated to the promotion of contemporary women in the arts.... We believe that the arts provide an important social service and that art has the power to enhance and enrich the quality and depth of our lives." Ceres brochure

AWESOME stuff Ceres. Hopefully artists in any career and creative part of their life can also appreciate what you're doing.

The work that were shown at this exhibit was wide-ranging in size, subject matter and techniques. The work from their member artists here:

One portion of the gallery space featured work by Dare J. Boles Lot of Women. One of the 16 she has on display is shown here.

Dare is a mixed media artist using patterns, pictures of faces and objects, as well as textures to create layers in her work. Without the use of shadows, the work remains very much 2-dimensional. The pieces at this exhibit was no larger than 16'' x 20'' and all reasonable price ranging from $325 - 900. Huge difference from a non-profit versus a for-profit where you would see several more zero's on the price list (of course through the sale of work is how the galleries help to pay the rent).

She had an interesting mix of work all centered around what womens roles are within their respective societies. Her pieces spanned from African, Asian, Muslim, American, African-American cultures as well as several others. She adds "Historically, a woman's role in life has been determined by society." The same goes for the role of men.

"I am inspired by the sunny climes of the Caribbean, the rich colors of Africa, and the quiet beauty of the Asian culture. Always, my art is about finding unique and personal means of expression and a continuing search for ancestors." Dare J. Boles artist statement

In some societies these roles of care-giver are positions women are born into and perhaps not encouraged to think for herself while for others, it has now become a choice to have your purpose to be that of pleasing men or to be a housewife. One may feel that women in the world have come a long way to claiming independence as entrepreneurs, Presidents, Prime Minsters and choosing to be single mothers. In Dare's work, are the women in her work unfulfilled or content? From her pieces, I felt respect for those that have and have had these roles. IT just made me think about what I would be doing if I lived in the 1800's or even 800's. 
Fortunately, I'm happy in my present.