ART: A.I.R. Gallery Celebrates Women in the Visual Arts
Artists in Residence (A.I.R.) Gallery began in 1972 with a straight-forward mission: advocating for women in the visual arts. Its newest exhibition, “Anomalistic Revolution,” reflects a celebration of the gallery’s past, present and future engagement with innovation and revolution, according to curator Julie Lohnes, who spoke with Tania Fuentez Media at the June 21 opening reception in DUMBO (Brooklyn, N.Y.). “Individually, each artist has established a studio practice and maintained a commitment to the arts for over 20 years, and in some cases for over 40, in order to contemplate visual concerns and to create artworks that reflect their own viewpoint,” Lohnes emphasizes in a release. “Each artwork is unique and this exhibition revels in this personal search … and celebrates each metaphysical revolution made.”
NOTE: “Anomalistic Revolution” will be at A.I.R. Gallery from June 21-July 15, 2012. The gallery is located at 111 Front Street, Brooklyn, NY.
TFM: As curator of “Anomalistic Revolution,” which opened June 21 at the A.I.R. Gallery, how does this exhibit align with the gallery’s Fellowship Program and what is its significance on a larger scale?
Julie Lohnes: This exhibition is a group exhibition of New York Members. The Fellowship Program participants have individual solo shows through out our year, for instance Bang-Geul Han is a Fellow 2011-12 and is showing in our Gallery II area at the same time as “Anomalistic Revolution” in Gallery I.
TFM: This year marks a special milestone for A.I.R. as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of being the first women’s-run artist collective in the U.S. What does the future hold for its members? Why is it important to you?
JL: We are looking to continue our core mission of advocating for women in the artists and to try new and diverse ways to bring exhibition opportunities to all women regardless to age, background, class or artistic discipline.
TFM: Discuss some of the visual concerns still plaguing today’s artists and how women are perceived in society? What is the best way to address these concerns and what can be done to uplift media standards and break down barriers?
JL: To speak about how women are perceived by society today, you only have to look at the negative backlash when Obama chose to speak at Barnard’s graduation ceremonies (one of the top 16 all women’s universities in the U.S., and sister school to co-ed Columbia University). The vitriolic animosity and rage about this decision was shocking at this point in the 21st century similarly to the rollbacks in laws to protect women against violence and the revoking of funding for Planned Parenthood. I ask, what year is this? A.I.R. addresses the disparity in solo shows occurring for women in New York by continuing to offer an exhibition space and community devoted to showing women. (13 percent in NYC during 1972 and 23 percent as of 2006, reported by Jerry Saltz in the Village Voice).
TFM: Most memorable exhibitions you’ve curated and/or organized?
JL: “Dangerous Women” at DFN Gallery, 2008. This was a collaborative curatorial effort between myself and John Nickle (illustrator and writer of the Ant Bully) thus the end exhibition was by consensus. I have often thought of how different the exhibition would have looked if I were the sole curator. I would have included only female artists that re-envisioned the traditional formula of women as subject in studio painting.
Artists in Residence (A.I.R.) Gallery: http://www.airgallery.org/
‘Village Voice’ article by Jerry Saltz: http://www.villagevoice.com/2006-09-19/art/where-the-girls-aren-t/
‘NY Magazine’ article by Jerry Saltz: http://nymag.com/arts/art/features/40979/
‘Dangerous Women’ at DFN Gallery: http://zine.artcat.com/2008/08/dangerous-women-at-dfn-gallery.php