The list includes Carrie Mae Weems works and “Trans Hirstory” at Henry Art Gallery; quilts at Bellevue Arts Museum; “Point of Lead” at Women Painters of Washington Gallery; and a lecture by designer Adelle York.
In honor of Women’s History Month, here are four visual-arts exhibitions and one lecture that creatively reflect on history, gender, or women’s roles in cultural production.
“Carrie Mae Weems: Untitled (from the Sea Islands series)”
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This small show features a trio of 19th-century ethnographic photographs of Drana, an enslaved woman, that were manipulated and re-presented by the always-noteworthy contemporary artist Carrie Mae Weems. The pictures, which were originally used to classify people according to racist beliefs, were altered by Weems to explore how imagery, taxonomy and prejudice can dehumanize individuals. Also at the Henry, “Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects” focuses on trans experiences, communities and activism in the Pacific Northwest. Organized by Chris E. Vargas, executive director of the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA), the exhibit takes “an inclusive approach to transgender, gender non-binary and gender transgressive identities and expressions.” The exhibition includes work by artists Ria Brodell, micha cárdenas, Jono Vaughan and Storme Webber, among others.
“Carrie Mae Weems: Untitled (from the Sea Islands series)” is on view through June 18; “Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects” is on view through June 4 at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 41st Street, Seattle (206-543-2280 or henryart.org).
“The Contact: Quilts of the Sierra Nevada”
I love the idea of geology-inspired quilts as artistic and historical objects. “The Contact” features more than 30 large-scale, hand-dyed quilts by Ann Johnston, who was deeply influenced by the California Sierra Nevada range and her family’s ties to the region, where they have held a mining claim since the 1800s. “The Contact” is on view through June 11 at the Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue (425-519-0770 or bellevuearts.org).
“Point of Lead”
While this exhibition is not technically about women’s history, its organizers, the Women Painters of Washington, is a historic organization. Founded in 1930, the WPW “empowers professional women artists to create, exhibit and market their work while fostering art appreciation within their communities and beyond.” We can appreciate their art at the aptly named WPW Gallery, where the current show explores linear marks as fundamental to language and visual expression. “Point of Lead” is on view through March 31 at the Women Painters of Washington Gallery, 701 Fifth Ave. Suite 310, Seattle (206-624-0543 or womenpainters.com/wp/).
“Designed to Lead: Architecture and Beyond”
This talk by designer Adelle York is hosted by The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Seattle, in partnership with Artefact, a Seattle-based design firm. York will share “how women architects have penetrated male-dominated leadership roles to create lasting impacts in the fields of architecture and design.” “Designed to Lead: Architecture and Beyond” will be held March 30 at Artefact, 619 Western Ave., #500, Seattle. Tickets: www.eventbrite.com.