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Kitchenless Homes and More Document Women’s Work for Social Change
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Elena del Rivero, Domestic Landscape #36, 2019, gouache, thread and graphite on collaged vintage graph paper with coffee, courtesy the artist and Henrique Faria Fine Art, New York
 
 
Friday, January 8, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Sun Valley Museum of Art is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the amendment giving women the right to vote with its new BIG IDEA project “Deeds Not Words: Women Working for Change.”

The exhibit, which opens today, celebrates the way women have worked for social change, including dress reform, civil rights and economic equality. It also looks at Idaho’s decision to grant women the vote in 1896—23 years before the 19th Amendment gave women that right throughout the nation.

The project takes its title from the slogan of British suffragettes who, like suffragists in America, decided that direction action was necessary in addition to rhetoric to secure suffrage. Suffrage simply means voting in elections.

  • Portland-based artist Pat Boas created an installation with a focus on Idaho and the American West. It includes a broadside featuring excerpts from a 19th century speech given in support of women’s suffrage in Idaho that visitors may take home.
  • Artist Angela Ellsworth is showcasing two sculptures inspired by bloomers that includes fabric, steel and thousands of pearl corsage an colored dress pins. The sculptures allude to the history of dress reform, which freed women from confining garments like corsets.
  • Artist Elena del Rivero has produced a series of suffrage flags modeled on dishtowels that celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Del Rivero also created “Domestic Landscapes,” works on ledger paper featuring abstract patterns made with ink, thread, spices, coffee and other materials of domestic life.
  • Lava Thomas has made large drawings of women who worked for racial justice, including abolitionist Harriet Tubman and two women who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1950s.
  • The exhibition also includes reproductions that architect Alice Constance Austin made I the early 20th century as a member of Llano del Rio, a socialist intentional community in southern California. Austin believed architecture could activate social change and she visualized Llano del Rio as an egalitarian city of kitchenless houses that would free women from their work in the home to pursue any profession they chose.

Reproductions of photographs of daily life at Llano del Rio accompany her drawings, as do Kim Stringfellow’s photographs of what remains of the community today.

“This project illuminates both very public and very private ways that women have shaped our communities and our nation,” said Kristin Poole, Artistic Director at SVMoA. “The artwork, films and lectures included in this BIG IDEA range from scholarly and curious to ambitious and amusing. Each explores a unique story and moment, but combined they reveal a fuller history of our own evolution as a people.”

The visual arts exhibition will be on view at The Museum at 191 Fifth Street East in Ketchum through April 16.  Admission is free. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday. It will also be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays during February and March.

Tours may be arranged by calling 208-726-9491.

SVMoA will also present a series of lectures, classes and films in conjunction with the BIG IDEA project:

 FREE Artist Talk with Pat Boas--Monday, Jan. 11, 6 p.m.

FREE Evening Exhibition Tour--Thursday, Jan. 14, 4:30 & 5:30 p.m.

FILM: “Beyond the Visible: Hilma Af Klint”--Thursday, Jan. 14, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

FILM: “For Sama”-- Thursday, Jan. 21, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

ART HISTORY LECTURE: Making Art, Making Change: Women Artists in Latin America with Courtney Gilbert--Wednesday, Jan. 27, 6 p.m.

FILM: “Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.”--Thursday, Jan. 28, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

LECTURE: A Livestream Conversation with Azar Nafisi--Thursday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m. (presented in partnership with The Community Library)

FREE Evening Exhibition Tour--Thursday, Feb. 11, 4:30 & 5:30 p.m.

FILM: “93Queen”--Thursday, Feb. 11, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

ART HISTORY LECTURE: Breaking Traditions: Modernist and Postmodernist Artists as Activists with Kristin Poole--Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m.

FILM: “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”--Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

FREE Afternoon Art--Friday, Feb. 19, 2:30 & 3:30 p.m.

CLASS: A Thousand Words: Guided Writing About the Art You See with Sarah Sentilles--Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6–7:30 p.m.

ART HISTORY LECTURE: Two Women Artists of the Baroque Era with Elaine French--Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m.

FILM: “Billie”--Thursday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.

FREE Afternoon Art--Friday, Feb. 26, 2:30 & 3:30 p.m.

FREE Afternoon Art--Friday, March 5, 2:30 & 3:30 p.m.

FREE Evening Exhibition Tour--Thursday, March 11, 4:30 & 5:30 p.m.


 

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