|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6142
|For Immediate Release
January 21, 2000
"Wake Up Little Susie" and
"Wake Up Little Susie" and "Warnings," a dual exhibit on the issues surrounding women’s reproductive rights from the mid-20th century to the present, opens February 4 in UNCA’s University Gallery. The exhibit runs through February 22.
A collaboration by artists Kathy Hutton, Cathleen Meadows and Kay Obering, "Wake Up Little Susie" is based on an award-winning book by historian Rickie Solinger.
"Susie" focuses on the differing treatment of white and black unwed mothers. The three-dimensional life-size chess board, with pieces representing unwed mothers, a social worker, psychiatrist, judge, journalists and others, illustrates the social and political context of the 1950s. Wall placards provide a richly packed history of the era, highlighting the conditions that preceded the modern women’s rights movement.
In a review of "Susie," the New York Times said, "The (chess) metaphor is particularly apt, in that chess itself is a symbolic war game with a readily adaptable cast of characters. Moreover, the black-white division of the board illustrates the story’s racial overtones. . . . The overall impact of words, images and objects is powerful, reminding us of the backlog of injustice behind Roe v. Wade."
Art critic Lucy Lippard said of "Susie," "Those who come to learn, go away with an aesthetic experience and an understanding of how art can illuminate social issues."
"Warnings" is a series of photomontage posters by Lisa Link.
Both exhibits have toured nationally. Since 1992, "Wake Up Little Susie" has been shown on more than 40 college campuses, including the University of Wisconsin, Evergreen State College, the University of Colorado, the University of Texas-Austin, Carleton College, West Virginia Wesleyan, University of Memphis, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Greensboro. Now on its "southern tour," it is also scheduled to appear at Wake Forest University, UNC-Charlotte and Vanderbilt University.
SERIES OF CAMPUS EVENTS SCHEDULED
Several campus events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. All events are free and open to the public.
Solinger, a visiting scholar in American Studies at the University of Colorado, will give a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, followed by an opening reception at 7:30 p.m..
On Wednesday, Feb. 2, Solinger will give a public lecture, "Nine Ways of Looking at a Poor Woman" at 7:30 p.m. in UNCA’s Owen Conference Center. In this lecture, she will discuss how poor women are defined by American society, how these definitions shape welfare policy, and the relationships between welfare, poverty and single parent families.
Concepts and contemporary issues presented in the exhibition will be explored in two panel discussions, led by UNCA faculty, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, and Thursday, Feb. 10, in Owen Conference Center. The panels will explore a wide range of views and topics, including the political, racial and economic aspects of reproductive rights; political art as a method to influence public policy and its protection under the first amendment; and the history of the modern women’s rights movement.
University Gallery is located on the first floor of Owen Hall. Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, the gallery will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, the day after the exhibition’s opening.
For more information about the dual exhibition, call the UNCA Art Department at 828/251-6559.
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