Rosita Johanson
No Escape from Destiny, 1991
Dyed cotton, dyed cotton thread, metallic thread, paper, beads, found metal objects, wood, foam board, and acrylic paint
9 1/4 x 8 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator

August 5 – October 3, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted life in ways that are difficult to comprehend. Massive illness and loss of life, economic hardship, daily restrictions, anxieties, and uncertainties—all things that are concerns for so many simultaneously. In the midst of this—indeed in the midst of other major crises as well like World Wars and the Great Depression of the 1930s in the US—artists create. In contrast to ancient times, when artists’ attentions were often invested in commissions, many contemporary artists are able to create work about the things that matter to them in one way or another—intellectually, culturally, socially, and personally.

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator, drawn from RAM’s collection, features works that reflect themes and topics that motivate artists to action, inspiring them to comment, investigate, and care. For example, in the 1990s, Ben Cunningham created a series of objects—including adornment—that reflected his concern about HIV as well as the controversies and issues surrounding it. Meanwhile, Rosita Johanson took on war and conflict in her colorful stitched narratives. Further historical perspectives are offered by artists like Dorothea Lange, a documentary photographer who captured the desolation of towns in the Midwest during the 1930s. Her images—depicting scenes of hardship in the United States—may have seemed remote many months ago, but now feel familiar in the midst of current economic circumstances.

To bring this conversation closer in time and space, this exhibition has an online counterpart that focuses on current work produced by members of RAM’s community. It can be accessed on the iPad in the gallery and through the RAM website, ramart.org.

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator

August 5 – October 3, 2020
Rosita Johanson
No Escape from Destiny, 1991
Dyed cotton, dyed cotton thread, metallic thread, paper, beads, found metal objects, wood, foam board, and acrylic paint
9 1/4 x 8 inches
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted life in ways that are difficult to comprehend. Massive illness and loss of life, economic hardship, daily restrictions, anxieties, and uncertainties—all things that are concerns for so many simultaneously. In the midst of this—indeed in the midst of other major crises as well like World Wars and the Great Depression of the 1930s in the US—artists create. In contrast to ancient times, when artists’ attentions were often invested in commissions, many contemporary artists are able to create work about the things that matter to them in one way or another—intellectually, culturally, socially, and personally.

From the Heart: Artist as Commentator, drawn from RAM’s collection, features works that reflect themes and topics that motivate artists to action, inspiring them to comment, investigate, and care. For example, in the 1990s, Ben Cunningham created a series of objects—including adornment—that reflected his concern about HIV as well as the controversies and issues surrounding it. Meanwhile, Rosita Johanson took on war and conflict in her colorful stitched narratives. Further historical perspectives are offered by artists like Dorothea Lange, a documentary photographer who captured the desolation of towns in the Midwest during the 1930s. Her images—depicting scenes of hardship in the United States—may have seemed remote many months ago, but now feel familiar in the midst of current economic circumstances.

To bring this conversation closer in time and space, this exhibition has an online counterpart that focuses on current work produced by members of RAM’s community. It can be accessed on the iPad in the gallery and through the RAM website, ramart.org.

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

Judith and David Flegel Fund
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation

Gold Sponsors
Anonymous
David Charak
Silver Sponsors
Art Bridges
A.C. Buhler Family
Andis Foundation
Baird
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Annette Hirsch Family
J. Jeffers & Co.
Dorothy MacVicar
RDK Foundation

Jan Serr and John Shannon
Bronze Sponsors

Anonymous
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Butcher & Barrel/Amos Los Tacos
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Get Behind the Arts Studio Tour
William A. Guenther
Tom and Sharon Harty
Tony and Andrea Hauser
David and Judy Hecker
Bradley Lynch
Carlotta Miller
Larry and Barbara Newman
The Norbell Foundation
The Prairie School
Georgiana Treivush
Twin Disc, Inc.
Deb and Will Walker

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