JO HAY OPEN STUDIO GALLERY
167 Commercial St. Provincetown, MA 02657
Exhibition Dates: May 13 - 26, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday May 13, 1-5pm
THE RESISTANCE an exhibition of large-scale paintings in reaction to the current political and social crisis in the United States since the election of Donald Trump, featuring artists Tess Barbato, Jo Hay, O'Neil Scott and KJ Shows.
This exhibit will center on the theme of resistance through resilience-contemplating what it means to be an artist in a time where freedom of protest and expression is being challenged by the new administration in Washington.
Carolyn Kramer, founder and gallery director, was inspired by the Women’s March in Washington that took place shortly after the platform of hate, fear, and bigotry won the election. “This was the catalyst for me to exhibit art that clearly rejects the policies of Donald Trump as well as examining the role of artists to both protest and heal our nation through visual mediums” says Kramer.
American realist painter Tess Barbato’s painting Corrosion of Democracy asks viewers to look closely at the direction America has taken since the election. “Among the many mainstays of our country, two that are frequently under attack are freedom of the press and freedom of religion, both of which [Trump] has tried to undermine ” she says. “These examples talk of a slow corrosion of democracy and way of life. Being married to someone who is Middle Eastern, I have real fear for my husband’s safety. Before we know it, we will be living under a system that is unrecognizable.” Barbato lives and works outside of Boston.
British painter Jo Hay will feature two large-scale portrait paintings; Maddow a portrait of political commentator Rachel Maddow and Bombshell, a painting of gay activist Sam Brinton. “Both paintings embody the spirit of the resistance. Rachel Maddow through her political commentaries and determination to uncover the truth, and Sam Brinton in his relentless activism against conversion therapy”, says Hay. “I am an optimist by nature, so I tend to gravitate toward figures exuding tremendous energy and possibility to remain positive as we move through this very challenging and often terrifying time under the Trump administration.”
Hay’s work focuses on acknowledging human courage characterized by those who dare to stand up and express who they are or what they believe. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Provincetown Arts Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Provincetown Banner, and Provincetown Magazine. She was the first recipient of the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant 2010 sponsored by The Provincetown Art Association and Museum. She graduated in 2012 from the New York Academy of Art, with an MFA, Summa Cum Laude. Originally from Newcastle Upon-Tyne, England, Hay has lived and worked in London, and New York. She presently lives and works in Provincetown MA.
Emerging American painter O’Neil Scott will feature three paintings Praying This Works, Don’t Shoot It’s Only Water No.3, and Citizen #2. “I feel very strongly that art and artists in general have been at the forefront of change,” says Scott. “Art work is one of the most powerful mediums used to shed light on injustice. By increasing awareness and inspiring the masses, art fuels fire for the resistance.” Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, praying this Works questions what is necessary for a black man to transcend to a higher level of acceptance in our society. Stirred by the tragic events of unarmed men of color, Don’t Shoot is a reflection of the often, tumultuous relationship between men of color and law enforcement. Citizen #2 depicts the artist’s journey as a man of color to become a U.S. citizen. Scott lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.
K.J. Shows’ will present two mixed media portraits. Senators Bernie Sanders -We Need a Political Revolution, and Elizabeth Warren- Nevertheless She Persisted. “Artists are at the center of resistance. We’re there to get people to rally round something visual, some symbol of what they’re about.” Shows is a Contemporary American painter who is perhaps best known for her painting project Portrait of an Artist. Shows description of this project is; “I personally contact an artist through a letter and I ask them to send the pair of shoes that best represents them, which is then my interpretation of a portrait”. “This series gives me the opportunity to connect with other artists all over the world. To date I have painted over 100 shoe portraits of both world renowned and obscure artists. Jamie Wyeth, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Mark Hogancamp, Ann Hamilton and Billy Childish are a few of the artists I have worked with”. Show’s work has been featured in Art and New England Magazine, Provincetown Magazine, The Kennebunk Post, The Portland Herald Press and Art Scope among others. Originally from Seabrook Texas, Shows lives and works in Kennebunk, Maine.She received her Associates Degree in Visual Communication at The Art Institute of Houston, TX.
Political activist Howard Zinn once wrote that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” It’s a quote that Kramer lives by—and that the artists of THE RESISTANCE exhibition convey through their work.