Exhibition about gay marriage opens in Minneapolis

Our Wedding, July 5, 2008

I’m very proud of my latest video art work called Our Wedding which was created in collaboration with my life partner Sue Maberry and our daughters Xochi and Marka. It just opened in an exhibiton called Love Never Dies at Form + Content gallery in Minneapolis.  The exhibition also includes Sue’s and my artists’ book, Marriage Matters, which is one of our art works that incorporates Sears portraits of gay and lesbian families. The book and video were called the “centerpiece” of the exhibition by Minnesota Public Radio (though they failed to say our names!). Here’s a link to the story and some wonderful shots of some of the other artists’ works in the show. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/state-of-the-arts/archive/2010/05/love-never-dies.shtml.

The video Our Wedding was produced by Sue Maberry and me, but the impetus for it came when our daughter Xochi wrote an essay about our 2008 wedding for a school application. Fifteen-year-old Xochi is the writer/narrator and her twin sister Marka is the director/editor. Sue and I served as producers/editors. Soon I will begin entering it in youth and lesbian and gay film festivals. Here’s a description of the 7 1/2 minute video art documentary.

Twin daughters of lesbians collaborate to tell the story of what their mothers’ legal marriage means to them. The 14-year-old girls served as “documaidens,” carrying flip video cameras instead of bouquets to record the ceremony. Phranc, the All-American Jewish lesbian folk singer, wrote and performed an original song for the event. The story unfolds against the backdrop of the battle against California’s Proposition 8. Not your typical home movie, this short documentary offers a glimpse into the life of an artistic lesbian family.

Kim Abeles Transforms Trash Into Art at Harvard-Westlake School

Obama in 9 Days of Smog and McCain in 18 Days of Smog, 2008

Obama in 9 Days of Smog and McCain in 18 Days of Smog, 2008

I would like to invite you to check out this exhibition I organized at Harvard-Westlake School where I am now the Visual Arts Department Chair.

Over a period of five weekdays, nationally acclaimed artist Kim Abeles was dumpster diving at Harvard-Westlake’s upper school to collect trash without the general knowledge of students, faculty or staff. She then cleaned, ironed, and assembled the trash in her studio and transformed it into new artwork. Abeles environmental art, as well as works that were collaborations with Harvard-Westlake students, will be featured in the Feldman-Horn Gallery in an exhibition called Nature Studies, from Feb. 9 – March 6. The gallery is open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. school days and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Please join us for two public events on Wednesday, Feb. 18. At 9:35 a.m., Abeles will do a gallery talk especially for students and staff, and she conducts another talk at 6 p.m. especially for parents and the public, which will be followed by a reception until 9 p.m.

Abeles, currently a professor of art at the California State University, Northridge, earned national recognition with her smog series in which she literally invented a way to “paint” with particulate matter. The Harvard-Westlake exhibit will feature her complete collection of presidential smog plates. Other large-scale environmentally themed works on display include The Leaf Lounge (All the World’s Leaves), in which hundreds of fabric leaves were created at five times the normal size in which Gallery visitors are encouraged to lounge!

Leaf Lounge (All the World’s Leaves), 2000

Leaf Lounge (All the World’s Leaves), 2000

Each year, the Harvard-Westlake Visual Arts Department hosts a professional artist’s exhibition in Feldman-Horn Gallery. Inspired by HW’s Green Initiative, Visual Arts Dept. Chair Cheri Gaulke contacted Kim Abeles, who is known for work that addresses environmental issues and often involves communities. Abeles began working with teachers and students to develop projects that involve the skill sets taught within the classes. Students in various departments examined the relationship between humans and the world around them, particularly our consumption-driven culture. Video students recorded Abeles as she dumpster-dove and carried garbage from the trash bins to her car. Math classes evaluated the typical consumption and waste at Harvard-Westlake based on the collected materials, like the amount of water left in discarded water bottles. Photography students investigated the relationship between the sun’s ultraviolet rays and skin tones. Sculpture students made “smog catchers” by using leaves from campus trees. Environmental-science students collected water labels and documented the trash each of them generates over two days. The environmental club and women’s studies students made connections between the environment and Native American spiritual teachings. Journalism students documented the entire process in the school newspaper.

In the spring, a catalog of the exhibition will be published that documents and examines the role of art in education and how art can be a tool for social change around issues such as the environmental crisis. The exhibition and catalog are made possible through the generous support of Harvard-Westlake Trustee Janis Feldman Horn.

For more information, contact Harvard-Westlake Visual Art Department Chair Cheri Gaulke at (818) 487-6596 or cgaulke@hw.com.

Making It Together: Women’s Collaborative Art + Community opens at Bronx Museum

I am excited to announce my participation in this exhibition in New York. The work I am showing includes documentation from two collaborative groups I co-founded, Feminist Art Workers (1976-81) and Sisters Of Survival (1981-85). With the WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution exhibition now in New York (at PS1), it is important to remember that collaboration was also a significant aspect of the feminist art movement. It was in southern California where this work was especially innovated. I am proud to be a part of that history and am delighted that it is beginning to be recognized in this exhibition. For the show, I edited two videos that document FAW and SOS. It was exciting to get together with my collaborators from times past and dig through our archives, select and scan photos, write narration about the work, and even re-stage some performance imagery. Working together was like old times but better. We’ve all mellowed and, with age and experience, know each other and ourselves so well that we could fall into a productive groove. It was lots of work but I’m really proud of the results. We may even post the two videos on youtube sometime soon. I’d like to especially acknowledge Laurel Klick (my partner in editing the FAW video) and Jerri Allyn, Anne Gauldin and Sue Maberry (my partners in producing the SOS video).

Making It Together:
Women’s Collaborative Art + Community

Making It Together explores an important chapter in recent history when women artists, inspired by the 1970s Feminist Movement, worked collectively in new ways to engage communities and address social issues.

Guest curator: Carey Lovelace

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456
March 2 – August 4, 2008

Go to the museum website and see a picture of me in my red nun’s habit as anti-nuclear performance art group, Sisters Of Survival, perform our Public Action in Covent Garden, London, in 1983.

Work from 1977 at the Getty

There has been a recent interest in work from the 1970s, a decade in which I came of age as an artist. I have work from this era in an exhibition entitled Evidence of Movement, currently at the Getty Research Institute through October 7, 2007. The exhibition surveys the variety of ways that artists in the 20th century have documented and represented performance-based art using nearly every medium imaginable—from photographs, films, video, and audio recordings, to notes, drawings, scores, books, and objects.

My work is included in Close Radio, which was a weekly series of experimental radio broadcasts on Los Angeles station KPFK from 1976 to 1979. I was living in Old Town Pasadena at the time when the area was occupied by artists and winos (that was before the term homeless even existed). It was long before The Gap and Tiffanys moved into the area. We had tons of beautiful skylit studio space and paid pennies for it (my rent was $35). The work we were doing was simple and conceptual. I was exploring the subject of women’s feet and shoes as a metaphor for women’s mobility (or lack thereof) in society, researching the theme through fashion, cultural histories, personal narratives and fairy tales. For Close Radio, I read aloud the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, The Red Shoes,while dancing in red high heeled shoes. By the end I nearly collapsed in exhaustion. It was a time when performance art was often durational and always a one-time, almost ritualistic activity.

You can actually listen to the audio performance online through the Getty’s website. Here’s a link. http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/evidence_movement/index.html

Women Artists of Southern California: Then and Now

Dear Friends,

I will be in this exhibition which is opening this coming Sat., June 2, 6-9 pm. I will be showing two video works – one from 1977 called “Eclipse in the Western Palace” and “Sea of Time” from 1993. Maybe I’ll see you at the opening!

“Women Artists of Southern California Then and Now”
June 2 through June 30,2007

Santa Monica–Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition “Women Artists of Southern California Then & Now,” curated by Bruria Finkel. The exhibition runs from June 2 though June 30, 2007, with an opening reception on Saturday, June 2 from 6 to 9 P.M.

Track 16 is located at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg C-1
Santa Monica, CA 90404

In conjunction with the exhibition, readings and performances will take place on Saturday, June 16, at 7 P.M. including poet/writer Deena Metzger, musician Jami Sieber, and Eloise Klein Healy. A panel discussion will be held on the closing evening of the exhibition on Saturday, June 30, at 7 P.M. featuring artist June Wayne. The emphasis on women artists’ work is important and long overdue. This exhibition attempts to create a bridge in time. The thirty-year gap between Then (the seventies) and Now (the present) constitute many years of art creation and work by the artists in this exhibition.
The exhibition features the work of thirty-six female artists residing in Southern California who have made art since the 1970s and continue to do so. Among these artists are Lita Albuquerque, Jacki Apple, Nancy Buchanan, Mariona Barkus, Diane Buckler, Karen Carson, Barbara Carrasco, Carole Caroompas, Bernice Colman, Jacqueline Dreager, Marion Estes, Bruria Finkel, Cheri Gaulke, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Channa Horwitz, Connie Jenkins, Ynez Johnston, Lies Kraal, Leslie Labowitz, Lili Lakich, Ann McCoy, Robin Mitchell, Luchita Mullican, Margaret Nielsen, Sheila Pinkel, Astrid Preston, Fran Raboff, Erika Rothenberg, Rachel Rosenthal, Deborah Sussman, Ruth Weisberg, Faith Wilding, June Wayne, Miriam Wosk, Harriet Zeitlin, and Connie Zehr.
The artists in this exhibition consider themselves feminists. They reflect on their experiences while expressing formal concerns and inventing languages that reveal historical and contemporary connections.
An exhibition catalogue made possible by the combined effort of both the women artists of this exhibition and friends of the arts will be available for purchase for the duration of the show. This exhibition recognizes and is part of The Feminist Art Project: a project originated at Rutgers University to focus national attention on women artists in the year 2007. For more information, please visit our website at www.track16.com.
Brief history in context: The Art and Technology exhibition at LACMA in a call to artists in 1968 did not include women artists at the final exhibition. This event precipitated many objections and stimulated women artists to create the Women Artists Council of Los Angeles. The Council did a survey of the Museum and counted the number of women artists’ work that was actually hanging on the walls at that time: they found one Dorothea Lange photograph. The Women Artists Council filed a discrimination petition with the California State Senate that was read on the Senate floor. The petition opened up a dialogue between the Women Artists Council of Los Angeles and the Board of Directors at LACMA and gave rise to the important groundbreaking exhibition, Women Artists: 1550–1950 whichwas exhibited five years later.