Hewitt Gallery showcases new exhibit: GO FIGURE: The Female Gaze

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It is no strange fact that Marymount Manhattan is dedicated to the arts. Over half of the majors offered here are art-based majors, covering the whole spectrum of art-related career niches. However, in regards to Marymount, it is easy to reduce our arts department down to the Performing Arts, dance and theater events being talked about all around the campus. But it is known that our Fine Arts Department is just as prestigious, and just as busy as the performers waiting to audition and the dancers running from studio to studio. They have their own events, including many talks with prominent artists in the area, curating exhibitions, attending off-campus exhibitions, receptions, and so much more. More importantly, they are responsible for making our campus hallways look so beautiful and unique. While these halls are adorned with work made by Art majors and minors, Marymount also houses prominent pieces by accomplished artists in its very own widely-known exhibition space, The Hewitt Gallery. The gallery is directed by Hallie Cohen, Professor of Art here at Marymount. According to the Marymount website, “The Gallery is known in the New York art community as an alternative exhibition space showcasing contemporary art of emerging and mid-career artists.” Whenever a new exhibit is unveiled, a reception is held with artists of the pieces and the art faculty and students here at Marymount. This past Tuesday, November 5th, the reception for the newest exhibition, GO FIGURE: The Female Gaze, was held in the gallery. 

The new exhibition displays the work of eleven female artists. These artists use a variety of different mediums to deliver the theme of the exhibition, including painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, and video. Each of them uses these methods to create works that display views on feminism and eco-feminism that challenges male dominance in art. In the description of the gallery, questions are asked regarding the pieces exhibited, including: “How does a distinctly female point of view manifest in terms of both content and form, particularly as it relates to figuration, sexualization, and power? What are the characteristics of a feminine gaze? Does it provide an alternative to existing stereotypes?” These are the questions that these artists and these pieces have answers to. The professional behind the work included in the exhibition include Paola Citterio, Katie Commodore, Sophia Dawson, Rose Deler, Maggie Ellis, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Phyllis Herfield, E. Jane, Mary Mattingly, Alexandra Rubinstein, and Robin Tewes. 

Curator Hallie Cohen commented on the goals of displaying such artwork, which includes paintings of male glutes, elaborate and unusual tapestries, and corsets or female undergarments. She says “I hope that our community, in studying the work, catalogue, and the information labels, will find role models and inspiration.” The exhibit gives insight into how female artists find their place in a world still dominated by the male perspective. This shows how the gallery and the art community of MMC are a significant and integral part of the college’s mission to produce creative change makers, by providing visual aids that challenge the ideas that society has held for so many years.