“Invocation” exhibition at Northshore Gallery explores cultural confines.
What inspires artists to create what they create? In each case, the answer is different, but in the case of the exhibit opening Friday at the Northshore Gallery of Contemporary Art, a theme has emerged.
“‘Invocation’ is a combination of work which explores both the ephemeral nature of life, and the struggle to transcend the confines of our particular culture,” says David Jones of the NGCA. “We are extremely pleased to feature works by three highly talented and well respected artists, and hope our community will come to enjoy the exhibition.”
“Invocation” will feature work by world-renowned artist Michael David and local artists Laura Willett and Eric Keller.
David has work in permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1981, he was the youngest person to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Laura Willet and Eric Keller are married artists and art educators. In the early 2000s, they co-founded Southeast Arts, an artist studio, gallery and co-op. They have been featured in many regional shows, including The Hunter Museum of American Art, Bill Lowe Gallery, Tanner Hill Gallery, and River Gallery.
Willet has included this artist statement with her work: “Women are labeled as sinners or saints. Unfortunately, it is often women themselves who hurl these condemnations at one another. The overly simplistic idea of the image being all-important is reinforced by the media. The media wants women to obsess about the way they look and detest themselves so that they will spend money on beauty products. Women are taught from an early age that beauty equals goodness and buys happiness and that they should stop at nothing to achieve perfection.
“I was taught by my religion to revere Mary—virginal, pure, and obedient. When I failed to actualize this unrealistic version of perfection again and again, I decided I was not worthy and that I would never be good enough. Images in the media served to reinforce this belief. Such corrosive thoughts breed insecurity and self-loathing in women and girls. I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
“The women I respect the most are not perfect. In fact, they are quite fallible. I admire women who have failed, learned from their mistakes, and gone on to make the world better. It doesn’t matter if their paths are straight or erratic. These stories of real women who have struggled and prevailed provide a blueprint for real life, not an unattainable fantasy life such as the ones from fairy-tales or glossy magazine pages women were raised on.
“Through this series I am searching for ways to reframe my idea of womanhood. Women have been told that their looks represent their worth. They are taught they should be sexy (but not sexual), innocent (but not naive). Even as I feel frustration living in a world of such dichotomies, I know there is a solution. It is a spiritual one, and it lives inside all of us.”
There will be an opening reception at the NGCA on Friday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m., and the exhibit will be on display through Nov. 18. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.
Northshore Gallery of Contemporary Art
505 Cherokee Blvd.