Heaviness, Hardship, Heft @ ARC Gallery An Exhibition of Artworks by Rosemary Meza-DesPlas

ARC Gallery

2156 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

773-252-2232, www.arcgallery.org

info@arcgallery.org

                        Rosemary Meza-DesPlas * Heaviness, Hardship, Heft

                         Opening: Friday, September 1, 6:00-9:00pm

Spoken Word Performance: 7:15pm

Exhibition Dates: Wednesday, August 30 – September 23, 2017

            Gallery Hours: Thursday – Saturday: 12 – 6 pm; Sunday: 12 – 4 pm

ARC Gallery presents Heaviness, Hardship, Heft, an exhibition of works by Rosemary Meza-DesPlas.

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas presents a series of artworks reflecting gender-based burdens. Weight hauled by women can have a palpable physical existence or take on a psychological shape of enormous proportions. Fluctuating states of poverty, violence and politics encumber women on a daily basis. Feminine onus is heightened by entrenched patriarchal institutions and reaches a crest during political unrest and instability.

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas is a Latina visual artist, writer and spoken word performer. She has exhibited at the Koehnline Museum of Art, Art Museum of Southwest Texas and the New Mexico Museum of Art. Ms. Meza-DesPlas has exhibited internationally at Hoxton Arches Gallery in London, Yorck Studios in Berlin and LuXun Academy of Fine Art Gallery in Shenyang, China. In 2017, she presented spoken word performances at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM and at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto, Canada. She is a featured artist in Of Note Magazine (where art meets activism), The Gun Issue, Summer 2017. In October 2017, Ms. Meza-DesPlas will be presenting an academic paper titled Heaviness, Hardship, Heft: Gender-based Burdens in Images at the Eighth International Conference on the Image, Venice International University, Venice, Italy.

ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit gallery and foundation whose mission is to bring innovative, experimental visual art to a wide range of viewers and to provide an atmosphere for the continued development of artistic potential, experimentation and dialogue. ARC serves to educate the public on various community-based issues by presenting exhibits, workshops, discussion groups, and programs for, and by, underserved populations.

ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation is sponsored in part by grants from the Illinois Arts Council, City Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Chicago Community Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ravenswood Bank, the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, our members and ARC angels.

ARC Gallery is an internationally recognized exhibition space that has been an integral part of the Chicago art scene since its inception in 1973. Founded during the women’s movement as an alternative to the mainstream gallery system, ARC is one of the oldest co-ops of its kind in the country. As a non-profit, woman artist-run cooperative, ARC continues its feminist tradition by providing exhibition opportunities for professional and emerging artists working in all media based on excellence of artwork, without discrimination toward gender, race, age, class, physical/mental ability, sexual, spiritual or political orientation.

 

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Author: rosemarymezadesplas

“I was born and raised in Garland, Texas; a manufacturing-based suburb of Dallas. My parents’ heritage is rooted south of the US border: my mother was born in Allende located in Coahuila, Mexico. My father, born in Santa Maria, Texas, grew up in Tampico situated within Tamaulipas, Mexico. The tenacity of my eight aunts in the face of personal tragedies and adversities was an early inspiration; their narratives contributed to my embrace of feminist ideology.” Rosemary Meza-DesPlas currently lives in Farmington, New Mexico. The cornerstone of her artwork is the female experience within a patriarchal society. As a woman, daily navigation of our world is a precarious tight-rope walk. The use of portraiture to discuss gender-based burdens personalizes the political. Intricate drawings are created by meticulous stitching of human hair. The dichotomy of human hair, depending upon context, is it can be engaging or off-putting: long, luxurious hair is sexy, but a hair in one’s soup is unappealing. Meza-DesPlas seduces the viewer with elegant, sensual marks of hair. Thematically, her artworks advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Through on-site drawing installations and watercolor paintings, Meza-DesPlas evokes intellectual and visceral responses to socio-cultural burdens endured by women; these burdens and their subsequent impact on contemporary culture are interpreted through a global lens. She earned a MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) and a BFA from the University of North Texas. Her artwork has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Her work has been written about in several publications including the Huffington Post, Dallas Morning News, The Durango Herald, Wall Street International, and Interview Magazine. Ms. Meza-DesPlas parallels the themes in her visual artwork with the written word and spoken word performances.

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