Exhibition at Bay College by Catherine Benda

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pair of white knit gloves
Photo caption: The Gloves Are Off
 
Bay College announces the exhibition, Domestic Alterations, artwork by Catherine Benda in The Hartwig Gallery – room 200F, on Main Campus in Escanaba.  Her work will be on view from August 30-October 20, 2021.  Please join us for the Artist Talk and Reception at 2:00 pm ET on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
 
Catherine Benda grew up in Detroit, Michigan and has a BFA in painting and drawing from Central Michigan University.  She currently resides in Marquette Michigan.  Her paintings and collaborative art projects have been on display regionally and nationally.  Most recently, in 2019, Catherine was awarded the Bruce and Allie Kotila Award at the 32nd Northern National Exhibit.
 
I am drawn to cultural objects of my mother’s and grandmother’s generation as well as those items that define femininity, womanhood and coming of age in the 60’s.
These domestic objects, accessories and notions framed the roles, expectations and behaviors of the women of the time.  They went hand and hand so to speak.  They were laden with subtext and rules.  They contained messages and values. All of which relegated women to a subservient role in society.
 
Domestic Alterations looks at the intricacies, techniques and materials present in women’s handiwork and everyday objects.  How do words paired with images alter our thoughts and provide us with a backdrop to change the narrative?  These objects when juxtaposed with language, cultural expectations and contemporary ideas provide the viewer with an opportunity to revisit each item in a new way.
 
I have used both women’s handiwork and notions from my youth to present Domestic Alterations.  I would like to add that I see this as a collaborative project.  The women’s needlework used in these pieces was made long ago.  The complexities of the handiwork and details in the clothing and adornments are exquisite.  They reveal a level of artistic ability which is incomparable.  Unfortunately, throughout history this was viewed by society as a lesser art form.  I thank them all for their perfect finish, attention to detail and suburb technique.  It is with great respect that I have incorporated their work into my own.
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