MINING THE GAP
Spencer Museum of Art
May 2 - May 22, 2022
Mining the Gap includes works from the Spencer Museum of Art permanent collection that bridge the gap between queer and feminist theories. In Otherwise (2016), editors Amelia Jones and Erin Silver call for contributors to imagine an art history and a curatorial practice that is both queer and feminist, as these traditions have been seen as separate and sometimes contradictory. The objects in Mining the Gap answer this call by discussing both the material conditions of a gendered or sexed body while also revealing the constructed and arbitrary nature of gender.
Feminist history and theory attend to the lived experiences of women who face real cultural obstacles based on sexism and gender difference such as the gender wage gap, higher costs for healthcare and products, and working a 'double shift' at work and at home. Alternatively, queer theory is highly conceptual and presents biological sex, gender, and sexuality on a fluid spectrum. While this spectrum approach has resulted in real legal and cultural changes in society to recognize and support gender identities outside of the binary male and female, queer theory is still seen as a force that could perhaps overlook gender-based obstacles facing women. The aim of this exhibition is to use object-texts as contributions to this discourse.
The art objects included in Mining the Gap discuss cultural standards around gender such as masculinity, femininity, beauty, and desire. These pieces challenge norms around how bodies should look (presentation) and what bodies should do (performativity). A variety of media such as photography, painting, printmaking, and other mixed media is included in this exhibition to provide a range of objects that discuss similar themes in different ways. These different objects blur, blend, and challenge norms and histories to reveal how gender is constructed, relative, and arbitrary. Key to my curatorial approach is to celebrate how art objects can act as texts and contribute to the discourse in ways that scholarly writing cannot. These objects embody both feminist and queer spaces, therefore, filling the theoretical gap.
THE DELTA DES REFUSES EXHIBITION
Little Rock and North Little Rock AR
The Delta des Refuses Exhibition is an annual exhibition organized by Rachel Trusty. The Refuses acts as a counter show to the Arkansas Arts Center's Delta Exhibition by accepting work from artists who were rejected from the Delta. Each Delta des Refuses is year-specific to the Delta exhibition so visitors to both shows can get a great aesthetic taste of what was "in" and what was "out" as two separate interesting bodies of work. The last Refuses was held in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020.
The Refuses was created in the spirit of the original Paris Salon des Refuses in which artists who were refused from the Paris Academy Salon created their own series of shows. Refused shows or counter shows offer a critique of the Juried system and the role of curatorial authorship by giving the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the works not accepted.
ANNUAL ARKANSAS FIBER ARTS EXHIBITION
Trusty has curated two different Fiber Exhibitions that include artists from Arkansas. The first exhibition, "Form in Fiber" was held in the spring of 2016 at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock. It included the work of nine Arkansas women.
The second fiber exhibition "All Women Fiber Arts Exhibition" was held in the fall of 2017 at the main branch of the Laman Library. This exhibition included 16 women, 8 of whom participated in the first exhibition.
The third Fiber Arts Exhibition was held in November of 2018 and will include 23 male and female fiber artists.
After Trusty left Arkansas in 2018, artist Erin Lorenzen took over curating the exhibition which continues annually.
ARKANSAS ART TEACHERS EXHIBITION
This exhibition was held in November of 2015 at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Library and featured work from Arkansas Art Educators in K-12 and Higher Ed. The Exhibition was held in conjunction with the 2015 Arkansas Art Educators Conference.
ONE YEAR DOWN EXHIBITION
"One Year Down: Artists Reflect on the first Year of the Trump Administration" was a pop-up in January of 2018, the one year anniversary of the inauguration. "One Year Down" was a thoughtful reflection on events and issues from the past year from artists on both sides of the aisle. This exhibition will be held at the New Deal Gallery and studios in Little Rock, AR.
This pop-up show included poetry and art performances.
ART TALK RADIO SHOW
The Art Talk Radio Show ran in 2016-2017 on KABF 88.3 FM out of Little Rock, AR.
Art Talk showcased the work of Arkansas Artists and other creatives.
Art Talk was created and hosted by Rachel Trusty.