By: Riley Holcraft
Risque photographs and intricate paper art are displayed among the walls of the Vol State Art Gallery on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building.
This new exhibit focuses on the role of women in today’s society. The Art of Women by Monica Stewart and Erinn Nordeman is free and open to the public through Nov. 1st.
Stewart and Nordeman are professional, women artists who have intermingled their different art styles to create an exhibit that challenges the traditional roles of women.
Stewart has two untitled artworks on display. She is a multimedia artist studying at the University of Louisville. She crafts mainly with paper to produce a bold, zany expression within her artwork.
“I often draw on object imagery from fairytales to allude to dysfunctional familial relationships, female agency, as well as the magical and grotesque,” said Stewart within the gallery description.
Her first piece resembles a delicately designed article of clothing hanging over a flower bed.
The white wall captures shadows from the clothing and flowers, providing dimension and character.
The second piece resembles an abstract, female monster. Stewart utilizes multiple different colors to display a chaotic image that symbolizes different aspects of a woman.
Nordeman has a series of photographs paired with handmade quilts.
Nordeman is a printmaker, photographer, video, and textile artist. She blends photography with textiles in her three displayed pieces titled: Sandy, Pamela, and Kimberly.
The photographs are self-portraits illustrating different types of female role models from Nordeman’s childhood.
She matches each self-portrait with a uniquely-made quilt that depicts the woman via textile art. The gallery description explained that Nordeman, “is interested in shifting traditional materials into contemporary questions of sexuality, identity, and female gender expectations.”
Her art challenges the viewer to contemplate how famous women within television and movies are viewed, idolized, and criticized.
The Art of Women exhibit unifies different types of art to create a gallery that encourages viewers to question the identity of a woman.
The majority of the exhibit is made up of different types of materials, papers, and textiles that are cut, folded and molded into pieces of art.
The presence of negative space within the gallery allows each piece to effectively stand out and convey a bold statement concerning women of today.
Both artists challenge stereotypical femininity by exposing a new, unique light on women in society.