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Where Artistic Practice and Family Life Meet

Elaine Leahy |

(SAN ANTONIO, TX) — September 20, 2017 — Blue Star Contemporary (BSC) presents Home Bodies, featuring artists Ivonne Acero, Lenka Clayton, Catherine Colangelo, Karina Etcheverry Roberto, Casey Arguelles Gregory, Las Hermanas Iglesias, Courtney Kessel, Hillerbrand+Magsamen, and Barry Stone. On October 5, 2017, BSC will unveil a new group exhibition featuring artists whose practice and work are informed by and melded with family life. The 11 artists explore our shared experiences as mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, siblings, and protectors. How does an artist find time for their practice while being a parent? Can being a parent be artistic practice? Some of the artists in Home Bodies show us how. Other works address how familial experiences stay with us all of our life, even in the studio: the absence and presence of family members, the effects of those who nurtured us, the roles we are assigned and take on in our families, infidelity, sisterhood, and more. The artists engage with the aesthetics of the materials of the home, including textiles, the dinner table, and stuffed animals.

About the Artists

Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Ivonne Acero is currently based in Dallas, TX. As a visual artist, Acero’s work addresses personal family narrative and experiments with diverse and uncommon materials. Drawing inspiration from her family’s history in the textile business, Acero’s sculptures portray relationships through garments, offering new depictions of the body. 

Lenka Clayton's interdisciplinary work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd. Home Bodies features work created while participating in the world’s first Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood, a project in which she founded a fully-funded artist residency that took place inside her own home and life as a mother of two young children. 

Creating intricate patterns on paper with gouache, Catherine Colangelo primarily focuses on her artistic practice in the evenings after juggling a day job, parenting, and running a household are over. In this body of work, she created a series of painted shields, which function as talismans. As a parent of a teenager, she is interested in the “everyday sorcery” that being a mother involves and how her role as his protector has changed over time. 

Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, photographer Karina Etcheverry Roberto studied architecture, ceramics, and photography. Home Bodies includes a selection from Roberto’s Lobster Age, a series of photographs documenting her daughters' shift from childhood to adolescence.  

Houston-based Casey Arguelles Gregory’s featured painting combine text with depictions of precious jewels, metaphors for societal views of women after motherhood. A painter, writer, and educator, Arguelles Gregory holds an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has exhibited widely throughout the region including solo and group shows. She is a regular contributor to Arts + Culture Magazine. 

Las Hermanas Iglesias is the project-based collaboration between sisters Lisa and Janelle Iglesias. As the children of Norwegian and Dominican immigrants who grew up in Queens, New York City, their project-based, trans-disciplinary work explores issues of hybridity, social participation, and cultural fusion. Through employing playful structures that respond to the community and geographical context of each project, Las Hermanas Iglesias create artworks that disrupt borders, engage absurdity, and promote the benefits of working together. 

Courtney Kessel is a mother, artist, academic, and arts administrator living and working in Athens, Ohio. Through sculpture, photography, performance, video, and sound, Kessel’s work strives to make visible the quiet, understated, and often unseen love and labor of motherhood. Her performance In Balance With is a collaboration with her daughter. Kessel balances herself against the weight of her daughter and items that represent their lives on a seesaw. She says of the work, “This piece speaks to the continual balance that I strive to create between being a parent, artist, and student.”

The artistic team of Hillerbrand+Magsamen is the collaboration of Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen. Together they create sculpture, installation, performance, video, and photographic works they call “Suburban Fluxus.” Often including their two children, Madeleine and Emmett, in their work, the family critiques and playfully scrutinizes contemporary suburban life. By deconstructing their iteration of the nuclear family, discussions of consumerism and stereotypes lead to larger themes of race, class, and gender roles in contemporary American life. 

Barry Stone’s work balances the extraordinary and mundane on a moment of everyday poetry. Stone earned a BA in Biology and an MFA in Studio Art in Photography from the University of Texas at Austin. His work is represented by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York and Art Palace in Houston and he is the founding member of the artist collective, Lakes Were Rivers. Stone is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Photography Program in the School of Art and Design at Texas State University.

Public Programs and Special Events

Thursday, October 5, 2017: In Balance With performance by Courtney Kessel with her daughter Chloé.

Thursday, November 17, 2017, 5:30pm: Family Night featuring Home Balance by Hillerbrand+Magsamen.

Saturday, January 20, 2018, 6:30pm: Sharon Louden in conversation with Lenka Clayton

Sunday, January 21, 2018, 12pm: Blue Star Contemporary Members Last Look

Exhibition Support

Support for this exhibition generously provided by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; City of San Antonio, Department of Arts and Culture; the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation; The Lifshutz Family; the National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts. Additional support provided by H-E-B and Sarah Harte and John Gutzler.

About Blue Star Contemporary

Blue Star Contemporary is a non-profit, non-collecting contemporary art organization celebrating more than 30 years in the Southtown neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, that advances the growth and understanding of contemporary art, artists, and the curatorial process. With a mission to inspire, nurture, and innovate, BSC hosts 20 contemporary exhibitions annually; a year-round after-school art education program for high school youth, the MOSAIC Student Artist Program; and the Berlin Residency Program. In 2017, BSC became the only San Antonio arts organization to be W.A.G.E.-certified, solidifying its commitment to fair compensation of artists and creative professionals. For more information visit www.bluestarcontemporary.org.

BSC is open to the public, Thursdays & Fridays: 10am-8pm, Saturdays & Sundays: 10am-6pm, and each First Fridays of the month: 10am-9pm. Admission is FREE on Thursdays 4-8pm, all day on First Thursdays and First Fridays. General admission is $5. Discounted admission is $3 for seniors, B-Cycle Members, and King William Association members. Admission is always free for Blue Star Contemporary Members, active military, veterans, educators, and students with valid ID.

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