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Marianetta Porter and Lisa Olson: Labors of Love and Loss

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Labors of Love and Loss is a collection of mixed media pieces that explore themes of gender and race and considers the intertwined lives of caregivers, their dependents and charges. Historically, in both southern African American life and in the tenuous strivings of the 19th century working underclass, the primary care and comfort of others fell to women. Beyond impersonal household chores, these responsibilities entwined with sweetness and hope, heartache and loss, assured the wellbeing of those around them. How did they balance the tangle of necessity and demand against their own emotional involvements and aspirations? Labors of Love and Loss is a tribute to the resolve, commitment and fortitude of women’s love and labor.

Marianetta Porter is Professor of Art and Design at Stamps School of Art and Design. Her work is grounded in the study of African American history, culture, and representation, drawing on ethnography, religious traditions, folklore, visual culture, and language to investigate the consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the vernacular art of the black church, the politics of visibility, and the poetics of color.

Lisa Olson is a mixed media artist and alumna of the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design. Her work takes a variety of forms — -books, prints, collage, drawing and sculptural objects. Olson often uses text in combination with visual components to create meaning. Her interests include studies surrounding the fragility of the individual within historically harsh or oppressive class related social structures and the resulting tools and systems created as strategies to navigate through. 

An artist talk will take place in Lane Hall (Room 2239) on Thursday, February 22 at 4:00pm. Each artist will speak individually about her work with time for audience questions. Following the talk, there will be an opening reception in Lane Hall Gallery (1st Floor) to enjoy the artwork and light refreshments. This event is free and open to the public.

This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Department of Women’s Studies, Stamps School of Art & Design, Residential College, Department of American Culture, Institute for the Humanities, and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Labors of Love and Loss
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:00 – 6:00 PM
On public display through July 312018
Location: Lane Hall 2239 and Lane Hall Gallery