New Patterns/Breaking Patterns
August 25 – October 22, 2017
Cowles Literary Commons, MCBA
Reception, Sept 10, 2 – 4pm, 3pm performance
Free and open to the public
New Patterns/Breaking Patterns, an exhibit featuring new works by MN artists Robyn S. Awend and Robin Schwartzman. This two person exhibit explores various forms of gender identity through dimensional paintings and handmade paper from clothing. Wardrobe patterns and clothing scraps inspire these works in obvious and subtle ways commenting on gender stereotypes and softening the binary divide that has, in many ways, informed our current culture.
“I borrow forms from some of the tools that I use on a regular basis and adorn them with patterns inspired by a selection of my favorite skirts and dresses that, for practical reasons, are saved for rare and special occasions,” states Schwartzman
“This new work speaks to gender identity as it becomes more transparent in our world today, especially in young children. I used my child’s old clothing to make powerful statements that reflect the importance of living your truest self,” states Awend.
As part of this exhibition, there will be special performances at 3 pm on September 10th by artists Anthony Neuman (Build A Boy Workshop) and Freya Richman (Sailing Upwind). Performances are appropriate for ages 12+.
Robyn S. Awend uses words and word fragments to inspire her letterpress prints and interactive mixed media installations, exploring various elements of identity and cultural influences. She invites the viewer to get up close and personal to experience the delicate nature of her work and often times leaves work unfinished for the viewer to complete. Awend holds a BFA from the University of Arizona and an MFA from the University of Dallas. Robyn recently completed a residency at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts where this series of work was created. Robyn is a past Rosalux Gallery member and a founding member of Form+Content Gallery in Minneapolis.
Robin Schwartzman is an artist who creates playful, often large-scale public art. She is best known for her interactive installations which have been featured at the Walker Art Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Northern Spark festival and the Art Shanty Projects, to name a few. She is a recipient of a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists as well as an Award for Innovation from the American Institute of Architects. Schwartzman’s obsession with leisure and play has led her to take inspiration from theme parks and miniature golf courses around the world. In this series of work, Schwartzman explores the space between routine pragmatism and novel self-expression. On a daily basis, her visual surroundings in an industrial shop conflict with her love of bright colors and fun prints.
Anthony Neuman works as a theater maker and teacher in the twin cities. He has been the director of the youth performance program at the Sabes Jewish Community Center for five years, and teaches preschool in the same center during the school year. Anthony also facilitates conversations with fellow educators and caregivers about mindfulness in language, specifically around gender identity. He has been seen on stage and worked as a playwright with 20% Theater Company, Freshwater Theater Company, the Twin Cities One Minute Play Festival, and more. His piece, “Build a Boy Workshop,” is a storytelling of his own gender journey in which he really disassembles his transition with just enough humor to keep it all cuddly.
Freya Richman is a theater artist – teacher, director, actor and producer of arts experiences working throughout the Twin Cities. She has collaborated with some of the area’s leading theater companies and developed creative workshops for youth at numerous schools and non-profits, including Steppingstone Children’s Theater and Linwood Monroe Arts Plus School in St. Paul. For seven years served as Director of Cultural Arts at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center, producing music and performing arts series, an annual Jewish book festival, visual arts exhibitions and more to engage center members and the broader community. Most recently her theatrical endeavors have taken her to 20% Theater Company, serving as a creative consultant and writing and performing her original work “Sailing Upwind” exploring her experience of gender transition in the Naked I performance series.