The Pussyhat Project

by Summer Zickefoose On January 21st, 2017, over 4 million people marched in Washington D.C., in every major city in the US and in over 50 countries world-wide[1]. These marches were women-led[2] and equal rights were front and center, but by no means the exclusive issue for marchers as LGBTQ rights, social justice, immigration, labor, health care and the environment were among the many reasons marchers came out. While not everyone wore a pink pussyhat, the number that did madeRead more

The Exquisite Uterus

I have always loved this project, organized by artists Alison Gates and Helen Klebesadel in 2012, in response to legislation in a number of states that sought to incrementally roll back women’s reproductive rights. As we have come to realize in the most recent election, we do not have the luxury of taking our voices, reproductive rights or bodily autonomy for granted. Not now or for the foreseeable future. You can read more about the project and see more images ofRead more

Theaster Gates at the Akron Museum of Art

On September 14th, 2016, the Akron Museum of Art hosted a musical performance, “A Cultural Revival,” featuring Theaster Gates and two members of the Black Monks of Mississippi. The experimental ensemble Gates has put together combines elements of Eastern, gospel an soulful blues influence. Theaster Gates is an artist who works in a disparate practice that combines skills in urban planning, architecture, community organizing and building, activism and ceramics. The Akron Art Museum’s programming with Gates is part of their “ongoing initiativeRead more

Two projects by Elizabeth DiDonna

by Elizabeth DiDonna Progress I combined personal, historical and material memories in Progress, performed at Working Method Contemporary Gallery in Tallahassee in 2011. In this four-hour piece, an organic, structural “framework” of unfired clay was built clay onto my body and the chair, starting at the feet and ending at my neck. Simultaneously, a series of participant performers selected from a series of books that I chose related to the concept of progress. Performers sat in the chair opposite me andRead more

Participatory Works of David Medalla

by Summer Zickefoose   David Medalla’s repertoire of art forms and methods is vast; he is rightfully considered a pioneer of kinetic, earth, performance, participation and conceptual art. Two of his participatory works, Porcelain Wedding and A Stitch in Time, seem particularly relevant to a contemporary conversation about socially engaged and participatory art practices. Medalla’s participatory artworks followed his better-known series of kinetic and ephemeral Bubble Machines of the 1960’s. In the bubble machine works, the machines created forms thatRead more