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Greater Denton Art Council exhibition combines STEM, art

Greater Denton Art Council exhibition combines STEM, art

Greater Denton Art Council exhibition combines STEM, art
October 14
13:00 2022

Editor’s note: this story was updated to include a source’s preferred pronouns.

Fine arts and technology are not always viewed as compatible but the Greater Denton Arts Council’s newest exhibition features seven female artists who are trying to show Denton just how harmonious the two fields can be.

The “Women, Art, and Technology: Ornament and Adornment” exhibition features local women who are all affiliated with the university and approach art through the use of technology.

The GDAC presents “Floppy Spaghetti Junction” by Julie Libersat (left back wall), “Object of Knowledge,” “Plastic Ono,” “Blue Spine” and “Lithe” by Liz Trosper (middle back wall), and “The Architecture of Solace” by Eliza Au (far right) on Oct. 5, 2022. Photo by Sarah Hogan

“Women have always been breaking ground in the art world,” exhibition coordinator and local artist Jenny Bates said. “They may not have always gotten the respect they deserved for breaking that ground, but they have been doing it anyway.”

The exhibition opened Sept. 23 at the Meadows Gallery in the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center and will be open through Nov. 18. It showcases 20 pieces of art depicting women breaking ground through their ability to work with technology.

Featured exhibition artist and coordinator Eliza Au has been teaching art for approximately 12 years and is currently an assistant professor at the College of Visual Arts and Design.

Au is inspired by patterns within sacred spaces, such as those found in cathedrals. As curator, she proposed the idea to GDAC of having an all-women art exhibition with pieces that include digital aspects, whether it be in the final product or just part of their process.

“‘Women, Art, Technology: Ornament and Adornment’ brings together a group of women artists who create ornaments through digital means,” Au said in her artist statement to the GDAC. “These processes could include 3D printing, laser engraving, digital printing or designing work in CAD (computer-aided design). Each artist uses ornament in different ways to achieve different means.”

Au said the exhibition aims to highlight and encourage younger female artists who use digital fabrication by showing them what is actually possible.

“I was interested in highlighting women who work with digital technology in different ways,” Au said.

Bates worked with Au to organize the exhibition, as well as unpack, hang and check in art. Bates is also in charge of the daily exhibition maintenance.

“What I like about [Au’s proposal] is that it’s contemporary artists, so all these women are still alive,” Bates said. “I really loved that they were local artists and I loved that they were trying to show that women were doing things in the art world using technology.”

“I am not a Robot” by Jihye Han sits atop a pedestal at the GDAC Women, Art and Technology: Ornament and Adornment exhibit Oct. 5, 2022. Photo by Sarah Hogan

Bates said the exhibition is significant and different from others put on by GDAC because the artists are showing they can use anything to create art. In five years of working for GDAC, this is the first exhibition Bates has seen using computer design.

“I hope that we will continue to show a lot of women artists,” Bates said. “We have really tried this year to really show people a lot of women artists.”

Featured exhibition artist and TWU professor Julie Libersat has been an artist for over 22 years. Her interdisciplinary work has aspects of technology and is inspired by architecture, which has been a big part of her life due to her father’s career in the field.

Libersat has four pieces in the exhibition with two pieces utilizing laser-cut fabric.

“[The goal of the exhibition is] to share different perspectives on working with technology and to highlight women who are working with art and technology,” Liberstat said.

The view that women and technology, as well as art and technology, do not fit together is a view the exhibition is working to change. Libersat said people are often surprised that she is a woman making artwork about topics other people may perceive as male-dominated subjects.

“I think it’s important for the public to see more art by women period, but particularly also see more art by women who are working with technology,” Libersat said.

The efforts of artists like Au and Libersat, along with the help of Bates, allows GDAC to show how women, technology and art go hand-in-hand. Bates said she hopes the exhibition continues to help young girls get involved in art, technology and science.

“There are all kinds of things they can do,” Bates said.

Featured Image: A side wall at the Meadows Gallery in Downtown Denton is printed with the name of the Greater Denton Arts Council’s Exhibit on Oct. 5, 2022. Photo by Sarah Hogan

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Madison Brewster

Madison Brewster

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