It’s rare I go a month without posting on Thoughts on Art, but here we are… I’ve been completely wrapped up in Beacon Gallery’s new show, Mixed Messages. The preparation and promotion have utterly consumed me.
Mixed Messages is a show that thematically focuses on rape and sexual violence. With such an emotionally fraught topic at its core and with the intent to inspire people to communicate more about this difficult subject. As such I’m sure you can imagine it’s been draining in many ways.
To briefly discuss the works in the show, the gallery is showing pieces by the Tiny Pricks Project (click for the long interview I did with its founder, Diana Weymar), the Social Justice Sewing Academy, Ibrahim Ali-Salaam, Jean Sbarra Jones, Raleigh Strott and Rachel Tine. Credit for the “Meet The Artist” series goes to my wonderful intern, Sasha Carnes, for her excellent reporting and writing.
In addition to the works in the show, we are also hosting a series of Artist and Author Talks. These are recorded and available on Beacon Gallery’s Blog, as well as on Vimeo to be enjoyed after the fact.
Mixed Messages has been a labor of love. It’s been delightful seeing individuals coming in and enjoying the work.
The works on view are a mix of pieces I would describe as representing victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. The Tiny Pricks Project, with the words of President Trump embroidered onto vintage fabrics, represents the perpetrator of crimes of sexual violence.
On the other side of the equation, representing victims of sexual violence, are works by Social Justice Sewing Academy (at the top), works by Jean Sbarra Jones (the Dress in Water series below), Rachel Tine (photography above and below), Raleigh Strott and Ibrahim Ali-Salaam (also both below).
Dress in Water series by Jean Sbarra Jones
Jean Sbarra Jones’s dress in water series evokes the same sort of ambiguity that one often finds in situations of sexual assault or violence. The trauma is layered and complex – similar to Jones’s work. For a nuanced discussion of her work, check out her Artist Talk, and don’t miss her Meet the Artist piece either!
Works by Raleigh Strott
The mixed-media works by Raleigh Strott explore the female body and its use as a form of currency in our society. Sourced from pornographic magazines, her cut-paper images emerge from geometric shapes and tease the eye. Strott also considers what to remove from her images as she works – for example, does removing a hand also remove agency? To learn more about her work, make sure to check out her Meet the Artist interview or her Artist Talk with Ibrahim Ali-Salaam on Beacon Gallery’s blog.
Rachel Tine & The Invisible Fractures Series
Rachel Tine’s work with victims of emotional abuse is ambitious and moving. These photographs are of individuals who were also sexually victimized or where the imagery – I felt, as the curator of Mixed Messages – speaks to all victims of trauma.
The piece, Enough, by Ibrahim Ali-Salaam demonstrates that men are also victims of sexual violence.
He explains this piece in-depth in his artist talk, check out a short clip here. It’s 2 minutes long and explains this work in a way that only the creator of the work could.
Thanks for reading this far. In addition to the work we are showing, we are also fundraising for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Tiny Pricks and Social Justice Sewing Academy (100% of any funds donated is split 3 ways between these groups – Beacon Gallery isn’t taking any profits). If you’d like to donate, you can either attend an event and donate via Eventbrite, or contact the gallery where you can donate via our 501(c)3 (I can give you our number). The gallery is not a non-profit but have “Beacon Gallery Consulting” which is a registered non-profit set up to support artists.
If you’d like to support Beacon Gallery’s artists and the gallery directly, buy some art! 😉
More Thoughts on Art coming soon…