The Guest Curator Initiative seeks to enhance the connection with artists featured in our directory through a thoughtful engagement with the themes, processes and contexts that inspire and inform their artwork. The program invites curators and scholars to discuss relevant aspects of an artist’s practice through a recorded, live or written conversation. The GCI is a shared space for the development of lines of thought and interest around a particular artwork or artist and is open-ended and experimental in its approach. The initiative helps us expand our network of collaborators and, most importantly, raise awareness about the multidimensional nature of women-identifying and non-binary art.
The project began in 2021 with Patricia Ortega-Miranda is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History & Archeology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she specializes in 20th-century art with an emphasis on Latin American art and culture. She is currently Registrar & Curatorial Assistant at the University of Maryland Art Gallery.
In 2022, curatorial intern Melanie Woody Nguyen continued the project with her own unique spin. She developed a new program that welcomes you into member artists’ studios, allowing them to share their artistic process with the community firsthand. The goal of the project is to expand the artists’ audience and create an archive of artists’ working spaces, documenting a particular moment in their artistic careers. Participating artists are asked to create short videos about their studio spaces. It is a platform that can be used to show work in progress, rediscover older work, dive deep into a particular process or material, or give an overview of a studio space or its location.
This project is supported in part by The University of Maryland Art Gallery.
A Conversation between Deborah Jack & Patricia Ortega-Miranda.
Contemporary international visual artist DEBORAH Jack grew up in the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. She earned her MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY in 2002. She has developed an impressive body of work in various media that includes painting, photography, video art, and large-scale installations. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Art at New Jersey City University and continues to show her work internationally. In this interview with PATRICIA Ortega-Miranda, a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland and curatorial intern at Now Be Here, they discuss Jack’s exploration of color and photographic techniques in the series Evidence 2009-11.
La inmortalidad del cangrejo: Conversación con Marta Pérez García y Juan Carlos Quintero Herencia. (Spanish Transcript)
MARTA Pérez-García es originaria de Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Se especializó en grabado en la Tyler School of Arts en Temple University donde obtuvo su maestría en arte. Marta es reconocida en Puerto Rico por sus coloridos grabados en madera y ha ganado numerosos premios, entre ellos el Gran Premio de la XIII Bienal de Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe de San Juan en el 2001, donde se exhibe su obra con frecuencia en museos y otras instituciones. JUAN CARLOS Quintero-Herencia es profesor de Literatura Latinoamericana y del Caribe en la Universidad de Maryland. Sus publicaciones más recientes incluyen La máquina de la salsa: Tránsitos del sabor (2005, 2021), y La hoja de mar (:) Efecto archipiélago I (2016). Como poeta es el autor de El hilo para el marisco/Cuaderno de los envíos (2002) ganador del premio de poesía Pen Club en Puerto Rico, La caja negra (1996), Libro del sigiloso (2012) y El cuerpo del milagro (2016).Esta conversación fue moderada por PATRICIA Ortega-Miranda, estudiante de doctorado en Historia del Arte en la Universidad de Maryland y curadora en residencia en Now Be Here. Para ver la conversación grabada en YouTube, haga clic: AQUÍ
The Immortality of the Crab, Marta Pérez García (English Transcript)
MARTA Pérez-García is originally from Arecibo (PR), she was trained as a printmaker at the Tyler School of Arts – Temple University (MFA). Ms. Perez-Garcia is recognized in Puerto Rico for her color woodcuts where she won a number of awards such as the grand prize at the XIII San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Print in 2001, and where she exhibits in museums on a regular basis. JUAN CARLOS Quintero-Herencia is a Professor of Caribbean and Latin American Literature at the University of Maryland. His most recent publications include La máquina de la salsa: Tránsitos del sabor (2005), and La hoja de mar (:) Efecto archipiélago I (2016). As a poet he is the author of El hilo para el marisco/Cuaderno de los envíos (2002), Pen Club of Puerto Rico Poetry Prize, La caja negra (1996), Libro del sigiloso (2012) and El cuerpo del milagro (2016). This conversation was moderated by PATRICIA Ortega-Miranda, a PhD student at the University of Maryland and curatorial intern at Now Be Here. To watch the recorded conversation on YouTube click: HERE
Artist Book Panel Discussion with Tia Blassingame, Johanna Drucker, Alexandra Grant, Marcia Reed and Susan Sironi
Why books NOW? Are books symbolic objects? Have books created political change? What is it that makes artists’ book a unique /compelling art form? Can artists’ books advance social justice for women? This panel discussion will tackle the history and current state of independent press and self-publishing by women artists making books as an art form.
This panel discussion focuses on book aesthetics in the history and current state of independent press and self-publishing by women artists. Though increasingly active in California publishing over the last century, as in so many areas, women have not always been as visible as their contributions deserve. Showcasing a diverse range of women artists and curators, the panel address the ways in which women artists’ publications create a distinct discourse, whether that arises from editorial ethics or curatorial decisions, feminist methods, specific topics and themes, or anticipated audiences. Most importantly, the panel will call attention to vibrant works of art being made in the book format designed to bring transformative points of view into published form.
This event is co sponsored with: Now Be Here Guest Curator Initiative, Scripps College, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, & X Artists’ Books
YouTube click: HERE
Solid Objects an online video exhibition featuring Debra Broz, Karolina Maszkiewicz, Donna Mccullough, Cheryl Riley. Curated by Patricia Ortega-Miranda
In 1918 British writer Virginia Woolf wrote Solid Objects, a story about a man who abandons his political career to go on a search for objects. At the center of Woolf’s feminist critique of modern European society is a man’s obsessions and ambitions. The material quality of iron, glass, and the trinket “china” become allegories of industrial progress and colonial economies. Yet, these materials open up to sensorial, imaginative, and poetic experiences that extend far beyond the rational and orderly projections of the man’s collecting impulse. The critique around modernity’s thingly objects has been shaped by the work of women fighting against racial discrimination and for gender equality. From Sojourner Truth appropriating and reclaiming ownership over her body and the product of her labor to Simone de Beauvoir’s articulation of sexual objectification, women’s different approaches to objects have engaged universal questions about the nature of power, our relation to the natural world, and our shared sense of humanity.
This online exhibition presents the work of four artists whose unique artistic languages radically alter the ways in which we relate to objects. These works prompt a diverse range of emotional and aesthetic responses and invite a reflection about our personal and collective experiences. Debra’s Reconstructions combine and modify decorative ceramic figurines found at thrift stores to create new narratives that ponder on the complexity of our human psychology. The hybrid, as a phenomenon connected to processes of mutation and morphing, is also present in Karolina’s Beach Stone series. By linking organic materials and man-made objects, her sculptural abstract compositions weave together memories of different times and places. Memory objects fill the cabinet of wonders in Cheryl’s piece Transcendence Preserved. Covered with clear plastic, these relics juxtapose intimacy and distance, returning each object its aura through her family’s stories of struggle and resilience. The contrasting qualities of materials and textures in Donna’s piece Deanna reconfigures the delicate archetypical feminine garment as a protective, fragile, and wounded medieval armor. -Patricia Ortega-Miranda, Curator
Memory, Feeling, Energy: An Interview with Lisa Diane Wedgeworth by Jordana Moore Saggese
LISA DIANE Wedgeworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose large-scale abstract paintings are informed by memory and employ energetic mark-making to interpret psychological and emotional energies. She is a recipient of the 2020 COLA Individual Artist Fellowship and is an adjunct lecturer at Los Angeles City College, Glendale Community College, and UCLA. Wedgeworth exhibited emerging artists in her studio-based project space PS 2920 between 2015 – 2016 and recently launched the public platform, Conversations About Abstraction to share the voices of abstract artists historically excluded from the Western canon. JORDANA Moore Saggese is an Associate Professor of American Art at the University of Maryland, College Park and Editor-in-Chief of the College Art Association’s Art Journal. Saggese’s work focuses on modern and contemporary American art with an emphasis on the expressions and theorizations of blackness. Her newest book The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader: Writings, Interviews, and Critical Responses will be published in March 2021 by the University of California Press.
We are very excited to introduce the Open Studio Project. Our 2022 curatorial intern Melanie Woody Nguyen (no relation to Christine) has developed a new program that welcomes you into member artists’ studios, allowing them to share their artistic process with the community firsthand. The goal of the project is to expand the artists’ audience and create an archive of artists’ working spaces, documenting a particular moment in their artistic careers. Participating artists are asked to create short videos about their studio spaces. It is a platform that can be used to show work in progress, rediscover older work, dive deep into a particular process or material, or give an overview of a studio space or its location. First up is Denver-based artist Christine Nguyen, whose salt-crystal laced prints sparkle and change depending on weather conditions. She’ll share with us her process and the inspiration for her work. Christine very kindly opened up her studio for us, allowing you to see her multi-layered drawing and printmaking process, learn more about her use of salt crystals, and even get a peek at her furry studio-mate!
The Open Studio Project returns with Nekisha Durrett, who welcomes us into her Washington, D.C. studio. Nekisha gives us a first-hand look into her process as she tests and troubleshoots her methods for a commissioned portrait of Harriet Tubman made with soil from Tubman’s birthplace. You’ll see the artistic process at work, as well as get a peek at Nekisha’s unique studio space.
The Open Studios Project returns with artist and professional sound designer Corinne de San Jose. Corinne takes us to her studio in Manila, Philippines, where she experiments with cyanotypes, ceramics, video, and sound work. She also shares a sampling of her wide-ranging practice, which includes photography, installation, and early forms of film animation such as zoetropes and praxinoscopes.