Now displayed in the Martha Gault Art Gallery is a new collection of artwork created by female artists from around the country, Our Bodies Our Selves; the exhibition features feminist works by artists from as close as New Castle and as far as Texas. Theresa Antonellis, Director of the Martha Art Gallery and art history professor, said she is very excited about the exhibition, and she hopes all departments and fields of study can come and find something to connect with.
“I really want to make it accessible and interesting to more than just the art department,” Antonellis said. “Hopefully, other departments will find a way in.”
Rabecca Signoriello and Julia Clift, both Pennsylvania natives, are two of the artists whose works are being displayed in the exhibition. Clift, who is based in Philadelphia and is currently building her artistic portfolio, recently won a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Grant for her series “Real Woman.” Signoriello is a more well-established artist from the New Castle area; she spends six months out of the year working on construction crews and performing hard labor. During the second half of the year, she lives off her savings and dedicates her life to her art.
“Artists always have such interesting life stories,” Antonellis said with a smile.
Antonellis met Clift and Colleen Garibaldi, another artist who is featured, at the Vermont Studio Center in northern Vermont, which is a special residency for artists who want to focus only on their art for a period of time, as well as spend quality time with fellow artists.
“Artists can go to the studio center and set aside all of their obligations to work on their art in private studios,” Antonellis said. “As artists, it’s really difficult to find time and places to work without any distractions, so the Vermont Studio Center is a wonderful place.”
Garibaldi has had her work displayed in exhibitions all over the country, including New York, Florida, and Connecticut, and her work was chosen to be displayed in ArtVoice’s artbook “101 Contemporary Artists.” Megan Chin, who used to be a production assistant for artist Tara Donovan, and Ghislaine Fremaux, an assistant professor of art at Texas Tech University, are two other artists whose work is displayed in the collection.
“All of these female artists are at different levels and different points in their careers,” Antonellis said. “Some are new, breakout artists who are just beginning their career, and others are more well-established and well-known.”
Antonellis said that, without the help of the students who work at the gallery, the exhibitions and the art at the Martha Art Gallery would not get on the wall, and the Gallery itself would not be as peaceful a place as it is.
“When you go to a gallery, everything looks so pristine and beautiful,” Antonellis said. “All the work that goes behind it goes completely unseen.”
The official opening ceremony will take place on September 13 in the Martha Gault Art Gallery, and the Gender Studies program and the President’s Commission on Women are providing funding for the catering for the event, as well as sponsoring the exhibition itself. Antonellis said two artists will be at the opening, and she encourages students and faculty from all fields of study to attend and experience the collection for what it is.