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WHY NOT?! AN EXHIBIT OF WOMEN'S ART 9/4-10/24 AT HOUSATONIC COMMUNITY
BRIDGEPORT – WHY NOT?! a juried exhibit of the work of some
90 woman artists from New England and New York, will be on display
at the Housatonic Museum of Art Sept. 4-Oct. 24.
The theme of the exhibit, sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of
the Women’s Caucus for Art, is women artists pushing boundaries.
Each artist had the opportunity to reflect on the question from whatever
position she chose — personal, artistic, political, historical,
etc. Why not, for instance, break the artistic rules they learned?
Why not set an idea or societal demand on its head? Why not speak up
for someone who doesn't have a voice? Why not make any statement you
“The end result [of answering this question] embodies what
has made the field of art dynamic rather than static, creative rather
than technical,” said Anne Doris Eisner, co-president of the
Women’s Caucus. “It’s what art is all about." As
the exhibit illustrates, Eisner says, "the question 'Why Not?!'
suggests freedom, boundary-stretching, new possibilities." She
adds, “To what established ‘No!’ do women artists
respond: ‘Why Not?!’”
Two other events expand on the theme of the show while the exhibit
is on display. On Thursday, Sept. 18, the Museum will host A Taste
for Art, which offers a guided tour of its permanent collection on
Thursday, Sept. 18 at noon. The tour, which is free and open to the
public, will begin with a lunch – bring your own – outside
the Burt Chernow Galleries. Ann Chernow will speak about Burt, her
husband and founder of the Museum; her own work; and the work of renowned
artists Christo and Jeanne Claude. A tour focusing on women artists
in the Museum's collection will follow.
Important women artists whose work is represented in the collection
include Elaine de Kooning, Lee Bontecou, Alice Baber, Rene Schumacher,
Sylvia Sleigh, Doris Cesar, Jane Freilicher, and Jane Peterson. Current
or one-time WCA-CT members whose work is represented in the collection
include Ann Chernow, Camille Eskell, Suzanne Benton, Alberta Cifolelli,
June Ahrens and Susan Sharp.
On Thursday, Oct. 16, Women reinventing themselves will be the subject
of a panel discussion entitled Re-invent: WHY NOT?! to be held at the
Museum. Panelists include Suzanne Sheridan, singer, photographer, and
author of 90 Pound Suburban Housewife; Prill Boyle, best-selling author
of Defying Gravity, a book about late-blooming women; and former art
journalist Lisa Paul Streitfeld, now a full-time writer & multi-media
artist, including performance art and new media in NYC. The panel will
discuss how women re-invent themselves, their careers, their ways of
working and problem-solving, and how they break boundaries and re-energize.
A reception with the speakers and open to the public at no charge,
will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Burt Chernow Galleries,
followed by the panel discussion from 6:45 to 8:00 p.m.
The opening reception for the exhibit itself will be held Thursday,
Sept. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Burt Chernow Galleries at Housatonic,
located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, 150 yards off
I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte 8 (Exit 1), two blocks from the Arena at Harbor
Yard. It is free and open to the public.
The show is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the Women's
Caucus for Art and the Housatonic Museum of Art. Additional support
has been provided by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism;
the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation; the Park City Dept. of Downtown
Special Services, Bridgeport; and Nationwide Insurance, Jeff Tobin.