Chicago, Illinois Woman Made Gallery announces the opening of “In Praise of Physical Labor,” a group exhibition juried by Ursula Kammer-Fox. Artwork by 33 artists from across the United States and Canada will be featured in the show.
The group exhibition “In Praise of Physical Labor” with work by artists from across the United States and Canada offers diverse responses to the idea of physical labor, including
representations of urban, rural and domestic workers. The beauty of manual tools and the
unique nature of handmade items are highlighted as well.
Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Shana Wittenwyler’s work in the exhibition, “Summer Straw,” evokes experiences in her hometown of Monticello, Wisconsin. Due to vast economic need, younger generations are moving from her farming town to pursue professions outside of the labor intensive agricultural field. Feeling a deep connection to the farming profession and the daily experiences of her father, Wittenwyler embarked on a project to document the rural way of life in her native community. Wittenwyler explains, “After three generations, my father’s way of life and value system, typically idealized as American, is dying. His sense of loss manifests itself in disgust and depression. Through my father’s eyes, I have tried to record the people he knows before they become a lost generation. My father serves as guide, translator and narrator for my interviews and documentary photography. While collaborating on this project, my father’s energy
and commentary is inexhaustible. Rejuvenated by documenting a way of life he values, the work alleviates some of his disillusionment, providing him with purpose and hope.”
Other artists in the show include Chicago resident Jenny Arbaugh, a recent School of the Art
Institute of Chicago graduate, who creates photographs of herself as documentation of her
employee discrimination suit that was tried before the U.S. Supreme Court. In an evocative series of work, Arbaugh manipulates the appearance of her own body to represent the exploitation she experienced after her grievances were put on stage by the U.S. court system. Arbaugh’s politically charged works remind viewers of the trepidations and potential violence of the workplace.
Curated by Californa artist Ursula Kammer-Fox this group exhibition is one of three shows a year held at Woman Made Gallery that features the work of both women and men. Participating artists include Jenifer Arbaugh, Suzan Ashby, Julie Wendt Brundage, Donna Catanzaro, Susan C. Dessel, Pat Dumas-Hudecki, Mason Galganov, Timothy Bryan Ghiloni, Jennifer Giesler, David Grainger, Sandra Graves, Tatijana Jacenkiw, Zev Jonas, Barbara Kalina, Rosalie Koldan, Jeanette Martone, Marjorie Meister, Leigh Ann Metzler, Linda Michel-Cassidy, Carla Michel, Cella Neapolitan, Rosemary Kavanagh O’Carroll, Zsofia Otvos, Debra Paulson, Shari Pettis, Teri Richardson, Dawn Roscoe, Jaye Schlesinger, Ann Corley Silverman, Philip Spear, Ted Strandt, Shana Wittenwyler and Marjorie Woodruff.
(Banner Image: artwork by Shana Wittenwyler)