'Shrew'd' survey of American women artists opens Feb. 12 at Sheldon

Released on 02/01/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, through May. 9, 2010

WHERE: Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R Streets (see map link below)

Lincoln, Neb., February 1st, 2010 —
Chloe" by Catherine Opie, 1993, chromogenic print, 20 by 16 inches, courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln presents "Shrew'd: The Smart & Sassy Survey of American Women Artists," its biennial invitational exhibition, beginning Feb. 12. It features work by a diverse group of American women artists who use aesthetic media to question social norms of representation in art, popular culture and everyday life.

The opening reception for the exhibition will be 5-7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Sheldon, 12th and R streets on the UNL City Campus [map]. Sheldon director J. Daniel Veneciano and Sharon Kennedy, curator of cultural and civic engagement, will introduce the exhibition. The reception is free and the public is welcome.

The term "Shrew'd" is designed to signify both shrewd and shrew -- both smart and peevish or sassy. The subtitle indicates the mixed message of "Shrew'd," naming the contradictory perceptions of women who are smart and outspoken, and who, for that reason, may be perceived as defiant and insolent. The exhibition takes a critical perspective on society's mixed messages about assertive women by examining what contemporary women artists do in their work and the strategies they take to succeed as artists.

Artists whose works are represented in the exhibition include Renee Cox, Kim Dingle, Alma Lopez, Catherine Opie, Deborah Kass, Martha Rosler, Carrie Mae Weems, Mickalena Thomas, Delilah Montoya and Philamona Williamson.

"Shrew'd" continues the tradition of invitational exhibitions that were held by the Nebraska Art Association beginning in 1888 and continuing through 1964. Many important artworks in Sheldon's collections were acquired through these exhibitions. The invitational exhibition was renewed in 2005. "Shrew'd" will be on view through May 9.

Programming includes lectures by three artists whose works are included in the exhibition. The talks, which are free and open to the public, will be in the museum's Ethel S. Abbott Auditorium:

* Kim Dingle, Tuesday, March 2, 5:30 p.m.

* Carrie Mae Weems, Tuesday, March 30, 5 p.m.

* Martha Rosler, Monday, April 19, 5:30 p.m.

Two additional programs are planned:

* Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1:30 p.m. -- Kennedy will discuss the exhibition as part of the UNL Diversity Working Group talk series.

* Sunday, March 7, 2 p.m. -- Veneciano will give a Sheldon Sunday talk about the exhibition.

The Hixson-Lied Endowment and Nebraska Arts Council have provided support for this exhibition.

The Sheldon Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects focusing on American art. The museum is open free to the public during regular hours: Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed on Mondays. For information or to arrange a tour, call (402) 472-4524. Additional information is available at www.sheldon.unl.edu.