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SMoCA to honor women with year-long ‘Unapologetic’ gallery

Posted 1/8/20

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art unveiled its first yearlong collection show, which will feature all women artists.

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SMoCA to honor women with year-long ‘Unapologetic’ gallery


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art unveiled its first yearlong collection show, which will feature all women artists.

The exhibition includes a section of rotational highlights and a gallery dedicated to rarely shown installation-based works. “Unapologetic: All Women, All Year” will be on view Feb. 15 through Jan. 31, 2021.

The museum has approximately 1,850 artworks in its collection with only 3% on view at a given time, according to a press release. Although many pieces are highlighted digitally through social media and a searchable online database, the museum says it is looking forward to spotlighting its collection for longer than a usual duration.

“A recent study of art museum collections across the country revealed that women artists comprise an average of under 12% of the total artists,” Jennifer McCabe, director and chief curator at SMoCA, said in a prepared statement.

“Considering this revelation, SMoCA dedicates a yearlong exhibition to women artists to bring attention to this inequity, to foster awareness and to promote inclusivity.”

For the year, museum representatives say they will present this exhibition to raise awareness to this lack of inclusion.

This exhibition’s title aims to convey a sense of strength, signaling for systemic change within culture, where individuals of all gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age and ability see themselves represented within museums.

This exhibition presents a variety of mediums and genres of art, including modernist bronze sculpture, large abstract shaped canvases, conceptual art, written word, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture and collage. Visitors can experience a look at more than 35 works from the museum’s collection.

The rotational section of works will create a space that presents the range of SMoCA’s collection, including new acquisitions. The first group of works will rotate in June and a final rotation will take place in October, a release states.

The installation-based gallery is on view for a shorter period, from Feb. 15 to May 31, and presents several works for the first time since they were acquired, specifically the Laurie Lundquist and Barbara Penn installations.

Furthermore, some of the notable installation pieces in the exhibition were produced specifically for past exhibitions, making them unique works that cannot be seen elsewhere.

SMoCA began acquiring and collecting works in 2004 --- when it took over the care of the city’s collection --- although significant works by women artists were acquired from exhibitions in recent years.

“Unapologetic” includes work by Dotty Attie, Melinda Bergman, Claudia Bernardi, Dominique Blain, Cristina Cardenas, Sue Chenoweth, Judy Chicago, Renee Cox, Lesley Dill, Bailey Doogan, Angela Ellsworth and Lalla Essaydi, among many others.

The gallery is also on view during the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S., which brought about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

Museum representatives say they are privileged to be a presenting institution, as part of the Feminist Art Coalition, a platform for feminism-informed art projects.

Various art museums and nonprofit institutions are presenting a series of concurrent events --- including commissions, exhibitions, performances, talks and symposia --- throughout the U.S. and over the course of three months (September to November) in the fall of 2020.

SMoCA oranized “Unapologetic: All Women, All Year” with Lauren R. O’Connell, assistant curator, and Keshia Turley, curatorial assistant, curating.