In the midst of a culture that emphasizes physical identity from every angle, Valure is an exhibit that exists to portray the social issues surrounding the females of today. This exhibit by Gamut Gallery, located across from North Central’s Kingsriter Building has been about a little over a year in the making for gallery director Jade Patrick and manager Cassie Garner.
“We’re doing this show because we believe in the beauty and talent of the artwork that these women are making,” Patrick said. “We feel strongly about the message that is spoken in here when all of these artists’ work are in the same room.”
In the beginning stages of this exhibit, Garner pitched some theme ideas to Patrick, calling the focus “dark, beautiful and sexy,” and consisting of only women. This is how the idea for the show was birthed last October.
Feminism, beauty and aging are all topics relevant in today’s society, and the ladies at Gamut are trying to portray that image with the help of the local, female artists.
“The conversations that this work inspires is really intriguing for us, especially given the political climate we are in right now,” Patrick said.
Gamut owners hope that this exhibit sparks discussion about important issues, including the fact that the aspiration toward one strict standard can be physically, emotionally and mentally taxing on women.
This dialogue is portrayed through pieces like Bunny Portia’s letter to her body and C.L. Martin’s distorted mannequin sculptures, both of which can be viewed at the exhibit.
Other featured artists at Valure are Bethany Birnie, Caitlin Karolczak, Jane Wunrow and Serah Sauser. The artists have used unique materials such as old X-rays, photographs and taxidermy birds and moths to tell the story of body image to their audience. The exhibit and its pieces represent a unique take for the one-of-a-kind gallery.
Equality, unity and growth are some themes that Patrick and Garner hope the audience takes away.
“Where we first started with this concept, over time, has shifted into a much stronger show,” Garner said. “I feel what we are trying to represent has grown, just like these artists have grown with their work.”
Valure opened to the public Jan. 27, and will run through Feb. 17, when Gamut will host a finale gathering at 7 p.m. with a performance by Ghostbridge Theatre at 8:30 p.m. Admission to the exhibit is $10.
Photos by Hillary Streitberger