Susan Block, curator of Michigan City’s Southern Shore Art Association’s “Fifty Shades of Female” exhibit, sees her show as creating what she referred to as “a bit of cultural history in this region.”
“In all my research, there has not been a show with the subject of female by both male and female artists submitting their art,” she said. “There have been women shows with exclusively female artists with a variety of subjects in the exhibition. But this subject is female and has both male and female painters, sculptors, photographers exhibiting. It’s a first in this region.”
Celebrating the opening of “Shades” with a Friday reception at Southern Shore Art Gallery, “Shades” is made up of original works, both two dimensional and three dimensional, by 32 artists throughout the region. Seventy pieces of art make up the exhibit, which is being held through the month of March and in conjunction with Women’s History Month.
“This is as big an exhibition as we have ever had,” Block said. “The artists seem to love the subject and responded with a great deal of enthusiasm to be in the show - the female has been a favored subject of artists in all medium for centuries. It’s a subject that artists have favored and, in one way or another, represented the female or the feminine spirit in their art and has been an enduring subject.”
In conjunction with “Shades,” Southern Shore Art Association will host a screening of the documentary “Who Does She Think She Is?” at 2 p.m. March 17. The 2008 film chronicles the lives of five women who juggle creating art with economic hurdles and domestic life.
“It’s a very inspiring film about the female creative and the problems and challenges that the female in our society faces in bringing forth her artwork, her performance capabilities,” Block said of ‘”Think.” “It deals with combining commitment to self expression with the responsibilities of motherhood and marriage and finances in the family.”
The opening reception for “Shades” coincides with Michigan City’s “First Friday” celebration, in which many businesses in the city’s Uptown district keep their doors open a few extra hours to attract patrons and shoppers.
Southern Shore Art Gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. the first Friday of every month.