Throughout history, women have struggled to find their voice. In America, 100 years after the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, they still have not achieved full equality with men. And in many parts of the world, women are at best second-class citizens; at worst, they are brutally oppressed by authoritarian patriarchal regimes.
In an exhibition titled “Voice Lessons”, opening Jan. 19 at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, four women artists - Eli Corbin (of Asheville, NC), Fran Gardner (Heath Springs, SC), Lisa Stroud (Cary, NC) and Beau Wild (Port Orange, FL) - give voice to women's experiences through their artworks, in media from painting to stitchery.
“Voice Lessons” offers a view of empowerment for women, yet focuses also on tolerance, empathy and compassion among women and men.
The exhibit runs through April 11. Regular gallery hours for are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Corbin has worked extensively in various media, but mainly uses acrylics, collage and mixed media. She incorporates pattern and symbolism to evoke the strength and power available to women through connection with community, nature, spirituality and belief in self.
Gardner combines oil painting and stitchery - with occasional allusions to magic and conjuring - to create complex collages that reference ways in which women have always protected, healed and advised.
Stroud, a writer as well as a visual artist, works in an abstract language that incorporates calligraphy, scribbling, poetry, stories and recycled posters into her paintings. She often uses"the little black dress" as both a symbol and as a whimsical narrator.
Wild, educated as both a visual artist and an occupational therapist, uses the technique of masking to suggest the ways women reveal or obscure themselves as they deal with the world. Through her work, she ponders why people do what they do: "What motivates their actions and reactions and what make us all 'tick?' "
In recognition of the historic anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Art Museum plans a full year of exhibitions by women artists, to highlight the wide range of contributions by women to the visual arts in America.
“Sara Golish: Birds of Paradise “runs concurrently with “Voice Lessons”. A selection of works by women artists from the Museum's Permanent Collection, titled “The Power of She,” will open Jan. 30.
Admission to the Art Museum is free at all times but donations are welcomed.
The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is a wholly nonprofit institution located across from Springmaid Pier at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach.
Components of museum programs are funded in part by support from the City of Myrtle Beach and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more Information, call 843-238-2510 or visit www.MyrtleBeachArtMuseum.org.