On behalf of the Peabody Essex Museum, Sweet Rickey and Oh Olive Creative, we are delighted to present, The Salon - An Exhibition Celebrating a Dynamic Array of Contemporary Female Artists. The curation of this show is an expression of connection, conversation and collaboration. An artful counterpoint to the global tonality we are currently experiencing.
Art harnesses the unique power to bring people together. The 24 artists highlighted in this exhibition each elicit a distinct point of view, communicated through different mediums. Joining us from Chile, Iran, Haiti, Mumbai, Japan, Cuba, Lebanon, Massachusetts and beyond. They are also at different stages of their careers - from the quixotic student to the established sage. The dedication to their practice and insistence on communicating through art is what brings us all together.
Throughout the course of history, ‘The Salon’ has symbolized a variety of meanings. In someway or another always a meeting place for dialogue and discourse. Of course, homage must be noted to the legendary patrons of the arts and magnanimous hosts, Gertrude Stein, and our very own, Isabella Stewart Gardner. These convivial individuals thrived on connecting, promoting and supporting artists, whom they hosted in their own Salons.
As we look back on [art] history at the Paris Salon, the official exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, one may observe a void in the distribution of representation. At the time, female artists were not granted the same pedigree, as their male contemporaries. Their artwork was often excluded from the great walls or relegated to dark corners. A notion that art making was not an acceptable career for “proper” ladies. Of course, we can find the outliers who were compelled to pursue their creativity, its just that the odds were stacked against them.
I was also very inspired by the hair Salon. A place where women gather to chit-chat and gossip. I followed this notion throughout the curatorial process. Opening up the conversation and allowing curiosity, recommendation and chance encounters guide me to each artist. My intention was to gather artworks and let them speak to one another and for themselves.
Inspired by the beloved, Michelle Obama, a precedence to come together, not only to support one another but to support those in need was demonstrated. On behalf of all the artists, The Peabody Essex Museum, Sweet Rickey, Edit Bar and myself, we are proud to highlight the work of The Malala Fund and to donate proceeds from The Salon to help women all over the world have access to the basic human right of an education. Thank you for supporting the arts and joining us in celebration!