Sign of the Times at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts

Sign of the Times is a two-person exhibition at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, August 16 – October 4, 2019. My artworks in this exhibition reflect the theme of gender-based burdens. Gender-based burdens plague women regardless of class, ethnicity, culture, religion, geographical location or sexuality. Within the societal stratification, burdens that impact women disproportionally include poverty, violence and political inequity. 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.

I created wall drawings for this exhibition August 12 – 15, 2019. The title for the series of wall drawings is “You’re Not Angry, You’re Not Paying Attention”. The wall drawing is created with conte and has specialty fabric accents.

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Marks, Strokes, Scribbles: A Survey of Drawings at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery

Marks, Strokes & Scribbles: A Survey of Drawings is an exhibition featuring drawings culled from different bodies of work produced over the past twenty years. Drawing as a medium is an important part of Meza-DesPlas’ studio practice. While drawings can be produced as quick sketches, preliminary drawings for larger works and analytical notations, Meza-DesPlas’ artworks in this exhibition will reflect ‘drawing’ as the end product – in and of itself. This exhibition is comprised of hand-sewn human hair drawings, human hair drawings cast in resin, vinyl applique drawing installations, on-site drawing installations with conte, and mixed media works encompassing a variety of media such as graphite, thread, and specialty fabric.

Meza-DesPlas began to sew with her own hair in 2000. Hair is sorted into various lengths, dyed to emulate an array of values and tones, and threaded through small embroidery needles. It is sewn into canvas, mylar and various art papers. Between the years 2001-2004, Meza-DesPlas achieved a three-dimensional appearance by casting her hair drawings into a 3-layer resin. The utilization of hair as a vehicle for art-making is informed by socio-cultural symbolism, feminism, and religious symbolism. In 2018, she began to create hand-sewn human hair drawings with her gray hair. The Huffington Post Arts & Culture section featured her hand-sewn human hair drawings in 2015.

Meza-DesPlas is known for large drawing installations created on-site. These works created with conte are notable for their loose gestural marks which interweave and vary in density. By 2012 Meza-DesPlas started to experiment with vinyl appliques to create large scale drawing installations. Drawings were created on the vinyl appliques with archival micron pens or liquid graphite. Meza-DesPlas assembled the components, vinyl appliques, together to envisage conceptually on a larger scale. Her drawing installations have been shown at Actuel’Art Lagalerie, Paris, France; CICA Museum, Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea; LuXun Academy of Fine Arts, Art Gallery, Shenyang, China; and ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL.

In Meza-DesPlas’ hands, drawing, as a traditional medium, has been expounded upon to arrive at non-traditional methods for mark-making. Her studio experimentations yield numerous avenues for what a drawing can be; thereby, the definition of drawing is smudged, erased and redrawn.

Marks, Strokes, Scribbles: A Survey of Drawings continues at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery in Durango, CO until October 10, 2019. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Pictured below are images of the wall drawing installation at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery. Normative discontent is a term coined in 1980s about a woman’s dissatisfaction with her body image. The last series I worked on revolved around Audre Lorde’s The Uses of Anger. I showed these works in Brooklyn in February. These artworks explore the concept of anger as a tool for change by juxtaposing found imagery from social media, art history and mass media. My interest was in how social movements, Black Lives Matter, Women’s Marches, Times Up and #MeToo harness anger in order to forefront an array of gender-based burdens. The current artworks including this wall drawing are an extension of the artworks about ‘anger as a tool for change’ They are about ‘agency’ and are inspired by the lyrics of Beyonce’s song Formation (released in 2016). I am researching images of female politicians who are captured in the throes of anger; in particular, I am looking for commonalities in terms of physical gestures and facial expressions. In addition, I am cross-referencing the contemporary social media images with art historical images of women & agency.  My interest lies in re-contextualizing the phrase “Ok ladies, now let’s get in formation” into a call for action, a rallying cry, a call to mobilize — a contemporary call for political activism.  I was inspired by Rebecca Traister’s book “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger”, 2018  and “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger” by Soraya Chemaly, 2018. As a little girl, one is often told, do not yell or do not be angry — it makes you look ugly. The distortion of the face in the throes of anger juxtaposed with the silenced face is of particular interest here.

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Normative Discontent (left side), 9′ x 6′, 2019, wall drawing installation at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery, conte with specialty fabric on wall

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Detail of Normative Discontent (left side), 9′ x 6′, 2019, wall drawing installation at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery, conte with specialty fabric on wall

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Normative Discontent (right side), 9′ x 6′, 2019, wall drawing installation at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery, conte with specialty fabric on wall

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Detail of Normative Discontent (right side), 9′ x 6′, 2019, wall drawing installation at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery, conte with specialty fabric on wall

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Installation view of Marks Strokes, Scribbles: A Survey of Drawings at Fort Lewis College Art Gallery

 

NCWCA Exhibition F213 (Fahrenheit 213)

Arc Gallery & Studios, 1246 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

EXHIBITION: April 13 – May 11, 2019

Saturday, April 27th, 1:30-3:30PM – F213 Curatorial Tour led by Dr. Tanya Augsburg, Lead Curator, F213 Exhibition
Thursday, May 2nd, 6:30-10PM – F213 Writer’s Evening, a book reading organized by F213 Writers
Saturday, May 11th, 12-3PM – F213 Panel Discussion and Closing Reception

Curators
Tanya Augsburg, Ph.D., Professor of Humanities and Liberal Studies, San Francisco State University, lead curator
Karen Gutfreund, co-curator, independent curator/artist
Priscilla Otani, co-curator, owner, Arc Gallery, San Francisco
Sawyer Rose, co-curator, activist artist
​Ariana Davi, curatorial apprentice

Artists provide the imagery. Writers respond. Together our voices will be heard. “F213” is short for Fahrenheit 213, one degree above the boiling point of blood. This exhibition brings together nearly 100 national and Bay Area feminist artists and writers who are incensed about what is currently happening in the United States.

San Francisco, December 11, 2018 – Women are rising. In unprecedented numbers and with ever-increasing volume, women are taking their outrage to the streets, to the press, and to the ballot box. As more and more women are openly voicing their fury about state-sanctioned abuses of power, the exhibition F213 spotlights strong and bold artistic expressions of feminist protest.

F213 is short for Fahrenheit 213, one degree above the boiling point of blood. This powerful exhibition by Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art (NCWCA) brings together over 40 national and Bay Area feminist artists who are, in a unique twist, paired with more than 40 writers who are incensed about the current misogyny, discrimination, and loss of hard-won civil rights in the United States, such as reproductive choice, freedom from unlawful detention, protection from police brutality, safety from gun violence, and more.

Curated by NCWCA’s feminist curatorial collective led by Tanya Augsburg, Ph.D., Professor of Humanities and Liberal Studies, San Francisco State University, F213 brings together a diverse and inclusive mix of multicultural, intersectional, multigenerational feminist artists and writers to express their concerns and offer insights to remedy current injustices and atrocities.

Augsburg says, “While we remain hopeful, we reject ‘thoughts and prayers’ as adequate responses to the corruption, cruelty, and discrimination we now experience daily in the U.S. Women, in particular, are past the boiling point and wish to make their voices heard. Artistic expression is our way forward toward social justice.” 

Pictured Below: 1) Rosemary Meza-DesPlas with her artwork “What You Whispered, Should Be Screamed”, 2) View of “What You Whispered, Should Be Screamed” along side of Nancy Hom’s artwork “No More Violence Against Asians”. 3) Kadie Salfi’s work “My Mom & Scorpio”, 4) Ester Hernandez discussing her artwork “Sun Mad”. 5) L to R: Sawyer Rose (Co-Curator of F213), Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Karen Gutfreund (Co-Curator of F213), 6) Rosemary Meza-DesPlas with artist Judy Shintani, 7) Brenda Oelbaum’s artwork “Piss on Me: Trump Toiliet Trio, 8) Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Ed DesPlas and Co-Curator of F213 Priscilla Otani. 

For more information on the exhibition:

https://www.ncwca.org/f213-events.html?fbclid=IwAR1My8UUupnhlCm292Q84JqwyPqGvOFI5jstWmvpeEZ0Bji1yw1KzrwEWVc

https://www.arc-sf.com/f213-ncwca-exhibition.html

 

 

Me at exhibitView of art on wallKathieesther hernandezKaren Sawyer RoseJudyBrenda artworkPriscilla

 

 

 

Spoken Word Performance at Amos Eno Gallery

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, also a spoken word performer, will present her piece titled Intervals of Anger at the opening reception on February 1st. She will perform a poem every fifteen minutes in conjunction with an artwork in the exhibition.

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“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

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”.

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.

 

-End-

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