Exhibit - Home Is Where the Art Is by Betsy Anderson
With the multitude of narrative objects presented in this exhibit, Anderson centers the presence and perspective of women: through words, birds, and other allegorical imagery. While her figures call to mind the line and color work of Egon Schiele and various 20th century works influenced by ancient cave paintings and Jungian archetypes, their charm and strength lies in their particularly feminist perspective. Sometimes overt, as when she incorporates quotes and phrases by women writers. Or in the presentation of the whole space as a collection of softness and reflection, defying categorization.
Anderson is prolific: creating paintings, embroidered works, pillowcases and fabric displays. The exhibit also features vintage aprons and bras elaborately or simply altered in a reflection of their purpose and incorporating vibrant colors and textures. She uses vintage or heirloom fabrics, then indigo and rust dyes them before working in embroidery details and drawings. Her process is intuitive but engages with particular repeating themes.
Within the gallery, Anderson’s pillows, paintings, and fabric work are arranged on set pieces borrowed from the Longmont Theater Company, alongside ephemera and props from her own home - creating the domestic environment most suited to their display, while her apron and bra sets are matched on seamstress dress forms.
Betsy Anderson grew up in Rockford, Illinois and graduated with a BFA from Northern Illinois University in 1982. Anderson moved to Longmont in 2004, and recent years have seen her becoming more involved with the local artist community, developing an interest in fabric dyeing, incorporating found objects in her work and, perhaps most significantly, becoming socially and politically outspoken. Her recent work has been shown in individual and collaborative exhibits at Still Cellars Distillery and Art House in Longmont.
Curator’s Statement: “In creating these pieces and staging them within a set environment, I’m reminded of the vast history of collecting objects as a method of storytelling. Birds and feathers, exotic materials, presented in the Wunderkammer style of little context: knowing each work’s full detail and biography is engaging and rewarding, but less the point than gazing at the wonder and weirdness as they form part of a whole. In re-framing her collection of vintage fabrics by engaging with the effects of organic dyes and adding her own embroidery, images and writing, presenting a stream-of-consciousness response to male and female figures, expressive paintings, etc; the work could not be a more stark contrast to the historical presentation of objects in a collection as a statement of pride for the owner. In surrounding ourselves with objects of fascination and wonder, there’s a sense of comfort and embrace: a strong contrast to the ordered display boxes of specimen collection more historically used in a curiosity cabinet.
How different would our sense of the world and its participants be, if the hundreds of years of collecting and object presentation were rooted in empathy and collaboration rather than a conqueror’s treasure chest?”
South Gallery Showcase: Skyline High School VPA Academy Capstone
The Firehouse Art Center is proud and excited to present the VPA showcase as an educational opportunity for budding local artists. The students will design and execute their own gallery installation, curating the viewer’s experience through arrangement and labeling, as well as framing and pricing their work.
The VPA Academy is a visual and performing arts focused program at Skyline High in Longmont, Colorado. In the Visual Arts Department the students explore a variety of 2D and 3D courses which may include drawing, painting, graphics, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and jewelry design. Each student initially explores a broad base across those areas and then selects a specific pathway of artistic development to pursue at progressively higher levels. Throughout their four years at Skyline the students also participate in extracurricular opportunities that include field trips, guest artist lectures, artist in residence programs, portfolio reviews, and a variety of exhibitions and contests. The works in this show reflect the personal explorations and artistic voice of each student.
Date: April 08 - May 09, 2021.
Time: Weds-Sun 12-5 PM