Geezer Gallery Presents…
Through Women’s Eyes
Grand Concourse & The Skin of Our Teeth
May 11, Wednesday: 6:30 – 7:30
June 1,Wednesday: 6:30 – 7:30
Special extension of Diane Flack and Cheryl Rogers-Tadevich
exhibition in the Producer’s Lounge: Exhibition through June 20th, 2016
Geezer Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday Noon -6pm
Artists Repertory Theatre
1515 SW Morrison
Through Women’s Eyes
An installation featuring seven women artists who embarked on an adventure of imagination, interpretation and creation. In the fall of 2015, the scripts of Grand Concourse and The Skin of our Teeth were given to these women and they personally challenged themselves to each create a body of work that visually represents the complex themes and illuminations of these plays through their eyes and chosen medium.
We envision the combination of performing and visual art will breathe life into the respective mediums and transform your experience into a place of active looking and listening. We believe each art form enables one to see that work from different perspectives and think about it in new ways. Come share the experience!
Through acrylic, monotype, woodblock printing and mixed media these art forms have influenced the artists and are celebrated through their work.
About the Artists
Ruth Ross on The Skin of Our Teeth
The history of mankind roars through Wilder’s antic and compassionate take on the human race. The stage set is flimsy and changeable, as are the characters. Sabina, for example, is alternately a maid and a strumpet, and ultimately the arbiter of the ending of The Skin of Our Teeth, when she steps out of her character and tells the audience: go home, “the end of this play isn’t written yet.”
Thornton Wilder’s play is filled enormous historical and biblical events: floods, the ice age, Noah’s ark, and the Atlantic City boardwalk. One colossal crisis after the other signals the End of Time, and yet, through Wilder’s extraordinary imagination, we see how the human race keeps on reinventing itself.
When I started this project I was taken with the humor and charm of the 1943 production. I started out by wanting to illustrate it; but as I inevitably started to apply more intimate imagery it became more personal: the apocalypse, yes, but perhaps my own apocalypse, grown out of the age of the atomic weapons, which finally brought it’s terror to the world in 1945, two years after the play was written, two years after my birth.
I have chosen to represent the stage set as a landscape. Upon each landscape I have added people, dinosaurs, even a wooly mammoth; and yes, the apocalyptic holocausts of our times: Hiroshima and the death camps of WWII. Can I combine both humor and horror on these landscapes as Wilder has done in his marvelous play? I hope so, and in that way honor his brilliant document of endurance.
Dianne Jean Erickson on The Skin of Our Teeth
These monotypes (some with the addition of chine collé) were created to coincide with the play The Skin of Our Teeth. Apron, Slingshot One and Slingshot Two, and Wheel refer to characters in the play who ‘invented’ these items. The Mammoth in the Room and Two by Two will become referential as the play progresses. The monotypes were done with AKUA water based ink on Arches 88 printmaking paper.
Mary Jo Mann on Grand Concourse
The characters in Heidi Schreck’s play Grand Concourse sunk their teeth into my psyche. The play captures human frailties and struggles, even of those who are not the “clients” of the soup kitchen. My attention was drawn to the juxtaposition of Shelley and Emma. The women came from different places, and life experiences, but both were in a sense trying to “find themselves”. Shelley’s character is a quiet force; her hard work and determination keeps the soup kitchen on track. Emma is a colorful, disturbing force that wreaks havoc on the people and place.
Shelley’s paintings are entitled “I Shalt Not”, and “I Will”. I attempt to show the transformation she makes as she tries to stay true to a vow she made as a young person to a more joyful, powerful place where she chooses to be true to herself.
Emma’s paintings entitled, “I Want” and “I Should” show her struggles to find happiness and some sense of self. She evolves from colorful loose cannon desperate for attention, to a more responsible person trying to do what she thinks she “SHOULD” do.
Lynn Maritch on Grand Concourse
As I read the script for “Grand Concourse,” I was struck by how each of the characters struggled to be their true selves. Each felt that they had to be what others wanted them to be in order to be accepted, included, and loved. A familiar conflict for all of us; who are we truly? And how to do we find out what that is? Should we reflect back what othersseem want us to be?, And what is that, exactly? Can we be brave enough to own our uniqueness and let that be “enough”?
We are layered. We have multiples faces that we keep for different people or situations. My work is about these layers and about how we sift through these layers in order to distill who we are and allow it finally float to the top.
Kay Myers on Grand Concourse
As I read Grand Concourse, I focused on the characters and their interweaving struggles with identity, responsibility and morality. I started thinking about the humans outside of the soup kitchen, the homeless. I live in inner city Portland and walk two and a half miles to my studio several times a week. My walk takes me through areas of the city where there are many homeless people camping, literally, on the sidewalks. These people became the background to my own play as I moved through the city and through my life.
I have created a series of monotypes depicting the many faces inspired by these walks. Each monotype is made by inking a Plexiglas plate and wiping away ink to create the image. Working the plate is a dance of balance between the light and the dark in order to capture a meaningful image. The plate is then run once through the press creating a one-of-a-kind print. I hope to capture the fierce beauty, dignity, hope and despair of these people.
Jo Ann Michaelis on Grand Concourse
Magic realism is the genre used in my paintings and their companion pieces to represent the main characters in Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck. In using the doll and doll clothing motif, my intention is to convey visual narratives reflecting Schreck’s development of the characters Shelly and Emma.
The geisha in Absent With Consequences portrays the conflicts experienced by the protagonist, Shelly, who struggles with a life changing decision.
The rag doll in Face Value represents the antagonist’s,Emma’s, desire for a persona and image to cover her emptiness. The mechanical wind-up doll in Shadows depicts Emma’s mercurial and desperate efforts to keep herself the center of everyone’s attention.
Illustrating Shelly and Emma’s characters using doll imagery let me express my love of visual storytelling.
Eva MacLowry on The Skin of Our Teeth
As an artist I hope to keep alive some of the rituals of life. Society and people leave their marks on civilization. These provide a legacy of images, symbols and monuments that can speak to other societies, civilizations and communities. In the play The Skin of Our Teeth, Mr. Antrobus invented the wheel and the alphabet. However ancient, they remain universal concepts and images with which we are all familiar.
Looking at art through the ages, we see that the first artists made images in an effort to communicate with the forces that had power over their lives. Perhaps their imagery was a talisman or prayer of sorts to ease their journey through life, helping them deal with their joys and life struggles; perhaps it was a way to better understand their environment; perhaps it was a way of remembering important experiences; perhaps it was a response to the trials and tribulations that life brings; or perhaps it was an attempt to make meaning from the seemingly random order of events.
I used two mediums for my images in this exhibit. One is collage and mixed water media, and the other is cold wax and oil paint. The image chose the medium. Both use consecutive layers of color and textures, scraping or rubbing away to reveal what is underneath. Some pieces relate directly to the play – “Lexicon” and “Wheel of Fortune”: for example, while others are more conceptual and abstract-such as “Energy Released” and “Ancient Surfaces Whisper”. This work is a response to my own life experiences in an abstract fashion through color, texture, form and medium. I hope my work conveys a sense of connectivity, a flow of past to present and back and intertwines with Thornton Wilder’s vision of the continuity of human existence.
The play ends as it begins. Sabina says,”This is where you came in. We have to go on for ages and ages yet” “The end of this play isn’t written yet.” The play speaks to the cycle of life—a continuum between the past-the present – the future- yesterday-today-tomorrow.
Directed by JoAnn Johnson
May 3, 2016 – June 5, 2016
The Skin of Our Teeth
Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez
May 17, 2016 – June 12, 2016
- Rare and epic revival of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize winner