Another busy start to the month at the Paseo marked the launch of the March Show at the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center.
Newly added to the calendar, the March Show will be an annual juried show hosting pieces of all mediums centered around a given theme.
This year, the theme is Women’s History Month, providing an auspicious opportunity to reflect on the role of women, and not just on its global or national character, but on its narrative in the art of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City.
As Paige Powell, Program Manager of the Paseo Arts Association, explains, “we hope that viewers will see themselves and their own stories in this powerful exhibit.”
The Artswith Devraat Awasthi
The gallery’s opening at the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center on Friday was a well-planned debut for the art.
Just outside, freshly made breads and pastries from the Country Girl Kitchen set the ambience with the scrumptious aroma of just baked goods. Inside, the atmosphere was polite and earnest as visitors surveyed a diverse collection of art.
From well established artists to newer creators, the March Show is a holistic and comprehensive account of women in art.
Pain to happiness, the full range of human emotion, is on display.
A triumphant portrait of the legendary Te Ata by Paige Busick is one of the most conspicuous paintings, dazzling viewers with an unfiltered glimpse at joy with its bright yellow and centered composition (Busick’s work was given a Merit Award by the Paseo Arts Association).
Nearby, a large painting by Aimee Eischen dominates the wall, with a vibrant and colorful display of family, with curiously void faces that signal the universality of the painting.
An image of Amanda Gorman by Kelsey May figures prominently near a massive depiction of a woman taking her unicycle for a joyride.
Victims and liberators
Taken together, the art on display in The Paseo is careful to depict women not only as victims of long-standing violence, but also liberators in themselves. The delights of girlhood and motherhood are carefully juxtaposed with the weariness of a long fight and the sadness that life brings to all.
“We are so appreciative and proud of the vulnerability they showed when entering this juried show,” says Powell. “The stories told are full of beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow, pride and shame, and are as diverse as the artists featured in the exhibit.”
While these themes are nothing new, the March Show contains a distinctive commentary on community and woman’s place in forming and challenging it.
For example, Diane Collins’ portrait of a doctor, gloved and masked in a sterile ward, is a reference, of course, to the times we are in, but also to the pillars of public infrastructure that make our community whole, and the vital role women play in constituting them.
Best of Show
Best of Show was awarded to Catherine Prose for Mother Earth, and other artists were also awarded Merit Awards and Honorable Mentions, all on display until March 27 at Gallery II of the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center.
The March Show at the Paseo is a pleasant encounter with feminist art and women artists, providing rich insight into the human condition. Masks are required and entrance is free.
Feature photo is of “Wheel Women” by Lena Spencer at the March Show in The Paseo.
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Last Updated March 6, 2021, 7:28 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor