Plymouth, N.H.—When, how and why do women access their inner wild animal? How does our current culture embrace or reject ferocity in women? An exploration of women’s primal and instinctive ferocity, a source of deep power and protectiveness, GROWL is an exhibition of artwork by 33 women artists addressing questions of women’s wild strength.
The show runs through March 15 at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building on the Plymouth State University campus.
GROWL is sponsored by the New Hampshire chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art, which invited WCA members from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to participate in the exhibition. The Women’s Caucus for Art is a national organization unique for its multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural membership of artists, art historians, students, educators, gallery and museum professionals, and others involved in the arts. WCA’s New Hampshire Chapter promotes advancement of women in the visual arts, professional networking, educational programs, and exhibition opportunities.
Saisha Grayson, assistant curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, was the juror for the show.
“The Karl Drerup Art Gallery is proud and delighted to present this exhibition,” said Terry Downs, director of the Drerup Gallery. “GROWL is an opportunity for these artists to demonstrate their most progressive work in the visual arts. The exhibit displays women’s issues in a variety of forms, techniques and styles at the most assertive level and drew the largest opening audience we have had at the gallery.” He added that the show is an opportunity for students of the university and the larger community to witness and be inspired by the vision of these fine artists.
Grayson said, “While the word ‘growl’ has a very clear concrete meaning, I found that the artists who submitted to the show were really thinking of it in a variety of loosely metaphoric ways—whether as a growl of protection or from being backed into a corner, or as an expression of anger at various aspects of contemporary culture or private experiences, or as a link to primal or naturalistic states. I tried to follow their lead and make space to consider all of these aspects and the variety of media and styles with which the artists were choosing to engage.”
Plymouth artist Marcia Santore, representing the WCA/NH exhibitions committee, worked with Grayson, Downs and the gallery staff to organize the show. “When the idea came to me for this show, I’d been thinking about the pressures on women, even today, to conform to certain expectations of restraint that we feel from the larger society,” Santore said. “I’d also been thinking about primal feelings, times in our lives when we really respond to a situation as the animals we are. I was very excited to see the response to the idea from WCA members and to see the very different ways they addressed the topic.” She noted that this is the first time WCA/NH has sponsored an exhibition that includes members from the organization’s entire Northeast Region.
“We’re really grateful to Saisha Grayson for her careful and considered approach to jurying this show, and that she was able to join us at the reception to talk about the Sackler Center and feminist art,” Santore said. She also praised the staff of the Karl Drerup Art Gallery for their help and professionalism in mounting the exhibition.
The Karl Drerup Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Wednesday until 8 p.m. and Saturday, 1–4 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and PSU holidays. Gallery information is online at Plymouth.edu/gallery. Contact the gallery by email at email@example.com, or by telephone at (603) 535-2614.
General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.