Arts & Culture
The Jerome M. Westheimer Sr. & Wanda Otey Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair: Mildred Howard
Art becomes the platform for discussion surrounding history, race, sex and injustice in The Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair: Mildred Howard.
A new exhibition at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art focuses on artist Mildred Howard (b. 1945) and her influential career. She has used a variety of media to engage in pointed yet nuanced examinations of the history and politics of gender, race and other issues central to contemporary society. Howard serves as the seventh guest artist in the university’s Jerome M. Westheimer, Sr. and Wanda Otey Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair program. A native of San Francisco, Howard received her master of fine arts degree from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California, in 1985, and has worked in the Bay Area for the majority of her career. This exhibition will be on display Jan. 25 through April 7.
San Francisco-based artist Mildred Howard, who has achieved an international reputation for her collages and installations, will serve as the seventh Jerome M. Westheimer, Sr. & Wanda Otey Westheimer Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair. An exhibition of Howard’s work will open at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on Jan. 25 with a public opening at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24.
Mildred Howard’s work incorporates a variety of media to create nuanced examinations of gender, race, politics and other issues central to contemporary society. Through her use of collage, sculptural assemblage and large-scale installations, Howard blends American folk art and family photographs among other appropriated objects to explore these increasingly relevant issues of sexual harassment, racial oppression and class struggles found in America.
Her methods for creating these pieces is just as diverse as the themes behind them. Over the course of her influential career, she has not limited herself to any one medium. Her Casanova series is a perfect example of her versatility, in which she uses both collage and jacquard woven tapestry. The endless possibilities and combinations for multiple materials is what fascinates Howard most. “I started off with collage, and I love the mixture of materials,” says Howard. “That’s always interested me – patterns within patterns. You can make art out of anything. That’s my reason for using those materials, because I’m interested in history, because I’m interested in memory and in place, and looking at objects in other kinds of ways that what they were originally intended for.”
Her work in this exhibition provides a platform for discussion revolving around political and sociological topics currently making headlines in regard to the #MeToo movement and immigration, among others.
Mildred Howard (U.S., b. 1945)
Casanova: Style, Swagger, and the Embracement of the Other I, 2018
Jacquard tapestry, 72 x 54”
Courtesy of Magnolia Editions and the artist
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