By: Isabelle Flener
The Jacoby Arts Center proudly presents an exquisite exhibition, “Women Speak,” dedicated to honoring the profound voices of women in the world of art. This remarkable showcase provides a platform for all individuals who identify as women, inviting them to contribute their diverse artistic expressions. Carefully curated, the exhibition unveiled a collection of 57 captivating artworks, meticulously crafted by 26 exceptional artists.
The grand unveiling took place on August 4, 2023, marking the commencement of an artistic journey that will continue to unfold its beauty until October 1, 2023. This enriching experience is accessible to all, as admission is free to the public. Visitors are welcome to immerse themselves in the artistry from Wednesday to Saturday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
“The Women Speak exhibition was put together by our exhibition committee at Jacoby,” said Jacoby’s operational manager, Chantel Morrigan. “The idea behind it is to offer an open call to women artists and women identifying artists. There was truly little perimeter of what art could be submitted. We had a huge outpouring. They run the gamut between paintings, 3D works, collage work, photography and more. There is clearly a need to give women a space to speak about themselves.”
Within the exhibition, Morrigan proudly showcased her own piece of artwork—a captivating photograph bearing the title “Transition.”
“I do a lot of artworks based on all-inclusive feminism and my experience as a woman,” said an artist in the exhibition, Metal Priestess. “So, the pieces that I did, the first one is a self-portrait, and it is me standing there in a work jumpsuit with it unzipped and part of my cleavage showing. As well as a very intense looking face and me holding a machete. The two paintings tie well with each other. The other one is called ‘Male Gaze,’ and it is how I feel as a woman walking down the street and having catcalling or men looking at me.”
Priestess has graced the galleries of Jacoby Arts Center in numerous exhibitions, a presence shared by numerous fellow artists.
“The inspiration behind the composite was that my niece was going through some serious things, and of course it affected the family as well,” said Jeannette Carrington, another artist in the show. “So, at that time, we had an assignment to create a composite in my Photoshop class. I utilized what we were feeling and what she was feeling to channel into the image that I created. The assignment was Surrealism.”
“The idea just poured out of me,” Carrington said. “Just being in a box that you cannot only not get out of, but you can also see out of. You can see the world around you. The things immediately around you are desolate, not inspiring, and not beautiful. But far away, symbolically, and up higher something to look and hope for. In the clouds are the palm trees and a pretty sky.”
Jeannette contributed a duo of captivating pieces to the art show, a creative feat echoed by several other artists. Her distinctive works bore the titles “Solitude in the Dark” and “Studio Glass.”
“The composite is one of the more personal composites or any kind of art that I have created,” Carrington shared. “I would say that it has taught me to be more personal and put myself more into my art. Trusting that it could guide it and mold it into something that people enjoy and represents me. Even if indirectly.”
Artists employ a diverse array of avenues to articulate their innermost expressions through art. Navigating unique life journeys, they seamlessly intertwine their personal narratives, fostering an intimate interpersonal connection as they unveil their creations to the world.
“I feel like I am always exploring my life and how to project that,” Priestess said. “It adds to my body of work as I have many paintings and sculptures that go into this theme. I feel like the more I create the more it paints the full picture of the point I am trying to get across.”
The art exhibition unfolds during the open hours at Jacoby Arts Center, where the artists are not present to explain their creations to the attendees. This deliberate absence adds an intriguing layer of interpretation to the experience of viewing the artwork, allowing each observer to form their own unique understanding and connection with the pieces on display.
“We only want guests to come in and view our art and feel something,” Morrigan explained. “We do not have any other goal in mind. Other than allowing artists the space to communicate what they want to communicate and for our guests to come in and experience that in whatever way is personal for them. Art is just to help you maximize your experience as a human.”
“I hope that this exhibition makes people feel understood and it inspires them to be themselves and be unafraid,” Priestess said. “Because coming into your power is just everything. Not conforming to societal norms is part of taking your power back. However, you want to experience that, whether you want to dress in less clothing, or more clothing or eccentric clothing. Whatever you want to do. I hope people question things and just feel more understood.”
Beyond its role as an exhibition venue, the Jacoby Arts Center serves as a nurturing hub for creativity, offering a spectrum of art classes and workshops. Artists are provided with the chance to highlight and market their creations in the dedicated artist’s shop, retaining an impressive 70 percent of the profits generated. This dynamic space continuously evolves, unveiling fresh exhibits every 8 weeks, ensuring a consistently vibrant and enriching experience.
For a comprehensive understanding of engaging with the Jacoby Arts Center, kindly explore their website at www.jacobyartscenter.org. Additionally, you can gain insights from their presence on Instagram and Facebook, accessible under the username ‘jacobyarts.’
To delve deeper into the artists featured in this article, further details can be found on their respective websites: www.metalpriestess.net and www.behance.net/hoccreations. Their artistic endeavors also come alive on social media, at metal.priestess.arts and house_of_carrington_creations via Instagram.