Between the Worlds: The Art of Women’s Altars
at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA
January 3—February 22, 1985
Exhibit curated by Cheri Gaulke and organized by Claudia Kilby
Catalog Design and Production, Sue Maberry; Photography by John Acurso; Cover Illustration by Virginia Heim
Catalog Essay by Kay Turner
Artists included: Lois Anderson, Asungi, Valerie T. Bechtol, Dana Chodzko, Eve de Bona, Barbara Drucker, Carol Emmons, Karen Fuson, Suvan Geer, Susan Gitlin-Emmer, Geri Gray, Nancy Weymouth Halbrooks, Anna Homler, Ursula Kavanagh, Rose Kelly, Sharon Lawson, Virginia K. McFadden, Sandra Martinez, Linda Nishio, Quimetta Perle, Almita Ranstrom, Anita Rodriguez, Rachel Rosenthal, Betye Saar, Suzanne Siegel, Hye Sook, Greer Upton, Linda Vallejo, Jere Van Syoc, Robin VanLear, Rebecca Williams, Women’s History Reclamation Project, and Jenny Wrenn.
Tree of Life, 1985
36 x 36 in.
“Dedicated to the four races RED BLACK YELLOW and WHITE, to the Earth and All Living beings on earth and the heavens. May all Nations join together as one.”
Altars: Tradition and Innovation in a Women’s Art
Excerpt of Catalog Essay by Kay Turner:
“In the making of home altars, women set aside a sacred space in their homes for creatively assembling a group of objects, images, and symbols which visually represent the power of, and need for good relationships and positive affiliations. The altar may also serve as an instrument for procuring and protecting good relationships. If, as Gilligan maintains, “women’s sense of integrity appears to be entwined with an ethic of care, so that to see themselves as women is to see themselves in a relationship of connection,” the home altar becomes a visual-artistic model of women’s sense of integrity. On the home altar, women assemble a symbolic model of connection and affiliation by bringing together images which represent different realms of experience and meaning-heaven and earth, family and community, nature and culture. A vari-voiced assortment of images (icons, sculpture, family photographs, flowers, shells, candles, etc.), provides a visible exemplum of the emphasis women place on creating links between people, between things, and between realms.”