“Jane Anger” opens at Amos Eno Gallery

“Jane Anger” will open at Amos Eno Gallery on Friday, February 1st with a reception from 7:00-9:00pm.

Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Jane Anger, an exhibition of new works by Rosemary Meza-DesPlas. Jane Anger features hand-sewn human hair drawings, watercolors and onsite installations. Rosemary Meza-DesPlas’ figurative artworks emphasize line and movement. The title refers to a 16th century pamphlet published in England titled Jane Anger, Her Protection for Women. An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 1 from 7-9 PM at the gallery’s location at 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY.

Meza-DesPlas, also a spoken word performer, will present her piece titled Intervals of Anger at the opening reception. She will perform a poem every fifteen minutes in conjunction with an artwork in the exhibition.

Meza-DesPlas explores the concept of anger as a tool for change by juxtaposing found imagery from social media, art history and mass media. She is interested in how the social movements, Women’s Marches and #MeToo, harnessed anger in order to forefront an array of gender-based burdens.

This exhibition includes Meza-DesPlas’ most recent drawings which incorporate her gray hair. She has been sewing with her own hair since 2000. Her hair is hand-sewn into a variety of grounds with small embroidery needles. Meza-DesPlas’ decision to collect, sort and utilize hair as a vehicle for art-making is informed by socio-cultural symbolism, feminism and body issues, and religious symbolism. Hair embodies a dichotomy: it can be sexy and engaging to people, on the other hand, it can be repulsive – like a hair in your soup or a hair on your hotel pillow. There are religious connotations to hair which coincide with symbolism reflecting strength, sensuality and reverence; such as Delila cutting off Samson’s hair and Mary Magdalen washing the feet of Jesus with her hair.

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas received a MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute, College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) and a BFA from The University of North Texas. An article on her hand-sewn human hair drawings was featured in the Huffington Post Arts & Culture section in 2015. Ms. Meza-DesPlas parallels the themes in her artwork with the written word and spoken word performances. In 2018, she presented the academic paper “Reclaiming the Tool of Anger: Year of the Angry Women” at the 9th International Conference of the Image in Hong Kong SAR. Ms. Meza-DesPlas’ recent spoken word performances were at the Feminist Art Conference, Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada; Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM; ARC Gallery in Chicago, IL and the Durango Arts Center in Durango, CO. Ms. Meza-DesPlas currently lives and works in Farmington, New Mexico.

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Personages#1-#5

Seeing in the age of big data. What information is left out? Artworks are 8 inches diameter. Hand-sewn human hair on fabric, mounted on stretched circle canvas. Hanging hardware on back.

Betty FriedanLucy StoneKate ChopinElizabeth Cady StantonAlice Paul

My artwork can be seen at the following venues.

Upcoming reception: Core New Art Space, Group Exhibition, Denver, CO, May 11th 6-9pm, exhibition dates: May 10-27

Upcoming reception: 1980 Gallery, Group Exhibition, Costa Mesa, CA, May 12th 6-9pm, exhibition dates: May 4 – 26

Additional upcoming group exhibitions:

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in CA, June 2018

Durango Arts Center in CO, June 2018

New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts in LA, September 2018

Chester Cathedral, UK, October 2018

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The Evolution of the Burden Hat

The “Burden Hat” made its debute at my exhibition “nevertheless: She Persisted” @ the Durango Arts Center. My exhibition focused on the theme of gender-based burdens. It spoke about burdens which disproportionately impact women such as poverty, domestic violence, body image and political inequality.  In my artworks, some of the women carry organic forms on their heads. The organic forms are inspired by the rock formations at the Bisti Badlands south of Farmington, NM. Those same rock formations later served as inspiration for the “burden hat”. If one could give visual form to their psychological burdens, what would they look like in the abstract? This is how the “burden hat” evolved. I used it as part of my costume for my spoken word performance at the Durango Arts Center in March 2, 2018.

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nevertheless: She Persisted @ Durango Arts Center

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“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and  deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens” First Lady Michelle  Obama.

The title of this exhibition “nevertheless: She Persisted” refers to a phrase by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In defense of silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren, McConnell said, ““Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Subsequently, the phrase was embraced on social media and became a battle cry for women across the U.S. in 2017. Women did not want to be told — to sit down and stop talking.

The works in this exhibition are grouped into categories to reflect gender-based burdens. These are hardships disproportionately shouldered by women in society. These gender-based burdens include gender-based violence, political inequality and gender-based-poverty. This weight hauled by women can have a palpable physical existence or take on a psychological shape of enormous proportions. Many women live day-to-day hindered by gender-based burdens; yet, they continue to persist.

The goal of “nevertheless: She Persisted” is to raise awareness of gender-based burdens. By fore-fronting gender-based burdens, inequities surrounding violence, poverty and politics and their impact on women can continue to be highlighted and discussed. Ongoing visibility of these issues is a necessity in order for change to occur – whether it manifests in small steps or larger advancements.

Venice – The Image Conference

I attended the 8th Annual International Conference on The Image in Venice, Italy from October 31-November 1, 2017. I presented a paper titled “Heaviness, Hardship, Heft: Gender-based Burdens in Images”. I also participated in the Pop-up Exhibition at Venice International University. Here are some images from my experience in Venice at the conference.

My artwork at the Pop-up Exhibition at Venice International University

ES1, Hand-sewn Human Hair, thread and watercolor accents on Canvas

Beginning of my talk “Heaviness, Hardship, Heft: Gender-based Burdens in Images”
Discussion on Gender-based violence
Discussion on Gender-based violence.
Slide from my talk “Heaviness, Hardship, Heft: Gender-based Burdens in Images”.

New Wall Drawing Installation @ ARC Gallery

“Carry This Burden, Now and Till the Moment of Your Last Breath” is on view now at ARC Gallery, 2156 N. Damen Ave., Chicago. It is a wall drawing installation composed of conte on wall, specialty fabric mounted on vinyl. The exhibit continues until September 23rd. Wall Drawing Installation in ProgressWall Drawing Finished 2Wall Drawing Detail 4 Upper BodyDetail of ArmDetail of Right Hip