Saturday, April 21-June 9, Kennedy Heights Arts Center
Opening reception: Saturday, April 21, 6-9 p.m.
Putting on clothes is an everyday act. Some dress to get second glances, and others to blend in. But when expression of gender – whether masculine, feminine or neutral – drives fashion choice, should clothing be more comfortable for the wearer or for society?
An exhibition, “Second Glances,” hopes to shed light on the question when more than 20 artists share their perspectives.
The invitational exhibit will include art in a variety of media – photography, textiles, repurposed materials – created to explore such gender topics as boundaries, neutrality, ambiguity, cross-dressing, transgender aesthetics, and gender and fashion throughout history.
Nancy Gamon, a textile artist and clothing designer whose studio is in the Kennedy Heights Art Center Lindner Annex, developed the concept for the exhibit with the hope it would inspire visitors to express themselves.
“Authentic self-expression is not always easy. Sometimes it takes courage just to put your clothes on, because sometimes what we want to express about ourselves is not what society feels ready to receive.” –Nancy Gamon“Authentic self-expression is not always easy,” said Gamon. “Sometimes it takes courage just to put your clothes on, because sometimes what we want to express about ourselves is not what society feels ready to receive. I feel really thankful when I see someone share themselves in a genuine way with their clothing. It helps me feel courage to genuinely express myself, too.”
Garments will be displayed on a mixture of masculine, feminine and gender-neutral forms. The exhibit also will include an interactive installation, in which attendees are invited to try on items of clothing and accessories.
“Who decided that men wear this and women wear that?” asked Da’Mon Butler, a designer and participating artist. “If the individual decides and doesn’t fit into what society expects to see, then what happens? This exhibit is a way of asking ourselves why we wear what we wear and who we are as a person.”
Participating artists include Brandon Andre Bowers, Ashley Marie Bowman, Emily Buddendeck, Da’Mon Butler, Susan Byrnes, Sara Caswell-Pearce, Isabella Cowgill, Nancy Gamon, Tina Gutierrez, Leah Hartmann, Robin Kusten Hartmann, Theresa Kramer, Pam Kravetz, Carla Lamb, Kaley Madden, Karen McGarry, Kim Pickard, Jenny Roesel Ustick, Karen Saunders, Sea Sprang, Jenifer Sult, Stacey Vest and Matthew Zory.
A gift shop and boutique area will feature a selection of clothing, accessories, jewelry and small framed works by participating artists.