1. Performing (Place Placing) Identity

    Some photos from the GSWS Spring/Summer Art Show

    This show will be up all summer long, so come check it out at

    919 W. Franklin Street 1st and 2nd floors

    Photos copyright Celina Williams

     

  2. Panelists and moderator from (Performing (Place Placing) Identity)

    If you missed this amazing panel discussion, you can listen to the audio here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdcEaD78alh

     

  3. GSWS Art Mafia 2014

    Putting the art show together.

    Copyright Celina Williams, GSWS Alum, Panelist & Art Mafia Member

     

  4. ashleighthelion:

    Graduation Countdown! It’s almost time! #vcu #bellygametoostrong

     


  5. Guests:

    • Madison Moore  (London, United Kingdom) Staff Writer at Thought Catalog

    • Nick Artrip  (Richmond, VA) VCU College Student
    • Zach Stafford  (Chicago, IL) Editor of ‘BOYS’

    Madison Moore was here at VCU earlier this semester, giving us the masterclass on Beyonce.

    Nick Artrip, VCU GSWS student!

    Oh, and the mentioned: http://boyfriendtwin.tumblr.com

     

  6. CONGRATULATIONS 2014 GSWS GRADS!!!

     

  7. vcuchs:

    Three of the seven people highlighted in the VCU News article - Meet The Graduates are from the College, including Aleena Inthaly, who is graduating with a degree in political science with a concentration in international relations, Amani Walker, graduating with bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies, as well as a minor in gender, sexuality and women’s studies, and Saher Randhawa, graduating from the Robertson School of Media and Culture. In addition, Courtney Cornejo is featured, who was a Psychology undergraduate and Nikita Jathan, who minored in Chemistry. Congratulations to them and to all of our soon-to-be graduates! Read more at VCU News. 

    GSWS represent!

     


  8.  Congratulations Amani and the GSWS Class of 2014!!!

     

  9. virginiacommonwealthuniversity:

    Two things:

    1. Have you registered for classes yet?

    2. Have you used the ‪#‎newsupercooleasyfantastic‬ schedule planner to do so?

    Don’t wait! #ThingsYouShouldDoBeforeSummerBreak

     


  10. Last Thursday, April 24, was a night of thought-provoking artwork, button-pushing conversation, and stepping-out-of-your-comfort-zone festivities. 

    legs

    Last Thursday, April 24, was a night of thought-provoking artwork, button-pushing conversation, and stepping-out-of-your-comfort-zone festivities. Guests found themselves confronting a variety of issues, and the concept of identity was revisited and redefined.

    The event featured a panel discussion led by Ha Tran, Brooke Inman, Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Angelica de Jesus and Celina Williams among other phenomenal minds. Topics included how identity and place influenced their artistic practices and activism, the importance of print zines, the prison-industrial complex, feminism and the trans community, self-esteem, empowerment, and other issues.

    In particular, the panelists discussed the issue of “preaching to the choir” as a recurring criticism of many feminist activists. This notion finds fault with feminist and queer events held with other similar-minded people because their messages ultimately fall upon well-versed LGBTQ ears. Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, director of A Streetcar Named Desire now playing at the Firehouse Theatre, addressed the criticism with a brief description of her own work as an artist and activist. Instead of worrying about preaching to the choir, the importance of the work in activism lies in “getting the choir to sing,” she said.

    If we are indeed preaching to the choir, then, she argues, why haven’t we seen more action?

    Jennifer Guillen / Untitled / digital print / 2014

    The artwork in the show is also diverse and exciting. Many artists from an array of departments at VCU and from the outside community submitted pieces that will be up through the Summer.

    Crenshaw House is unique in that the space acts as a house, an office space for the department, and a gallery venue. The pieces are installed in such a way that responds to the space and creates a specific environment for each piece.

    The Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies department puts on Art Shows every semester, which is how Emma Barnes first got involved. “After seeing the range of work and amount of people involved, I wanted to be a part of the planning process. I liked how accessible it was. It disrupted hierarchies and included various forms of making and expression that are not always considered or accepted, like poetry and zines!” said Barnes, “People were unafraid to create discussion around issues of identity such as race, class, and gender. It was really powerful to see it all in one place. I wanted to be a part of that conversation.”

    This semester, the focus was on identity and place. “The Spring Art Show examined how categories of identity and concepts of place are produced in various art forms, from photography to performance to painting,” said Dennis Williams, “It expands on nuances, dominant categories, and binaries of identity while also examining concepts of place—specifically the idea of belonging or not belonging in either a conceptual or geographical space.”

    The GSWS Spring Art Show was largely organized by Safiya Bridgewater, Emma Barnes, and Dennis Williams. Earlier in the semester before the Art Show, the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies department sent out a call for entries. The group behind it all is unofficially called Art Mafia.

    “There is plenty cross-over with students and faculty who are both in the arts and in GSWS. But being an artist or artsy is not a requirement to be in the Art Mafia,” said Safiya Bridgewater, “We brainstorm ideas and concepts of an event. And from there we make it happen—we plan it out step by step. Usually, interest in the project grows and friends of folks planning the event show up to help too.”

    Michael Todd / Color By Numbers / interactive installation / 2014

    The preparation for the show was extremely collaborative. “We invited artists who’ve been in the show before and folks who’ve helped plan the show, and also the entire GSWS student body, alumni, and anyone who follows us on social media,” said Bridgewater, “The preparation for this show, from conceptualizing to jurying to figuring out which pieces go where, was a very collaborative process.”

    This was the first time a panel discussion was integrated within the show. “It was interesting to be in an academic and artistic space outside of the classroom where performances were taking place—one by Gabby Namm and another by Tara German—at the same time we were talking about the performances of our lives,” said Barnes.

    Getting involved in the GSWS department has influenced the artists in the show. Namely, Barnes said her involvement has had a huge impact on her work. “Several of my classes, professors, and texts have generated concepts and directions for me. We’ve talked about things like how lumping together race or gender or class can be homogenizing,” said Barnes, “All of this can be difficult to unpack and has many complex layers, especially when making work within an academic setting; however, art provides the opportunity and the space to expand and disrupt these narratives—it can allow individuals to create their own narrative.”

    The show will be up through the Spring and Summer semesters at Crenshaw House, 919 West Franklin Street. Everyone is welcome to come by Crenshaw House to see the work. The building is currently not handicap accessible, and the department is working to expand the show beyond the building in the future. Suggestions? Contact gsws@gmail.com

    “My hope is that the work continues to confront issues of place and performance of self,” said Barnes, “Ultimately, I hope that everyone had fun!”

     

  11. Don’t forget! Queer Rocket's playing a free show this Wednesday!

     

  12. Hey GSEXers,

     
    It’s about that time to start thinking about graduation! It’s also about that time to make another batch of graduation sashes. Yes, we make our own sashes here in our department. We need to pin, sew, screenprint, and iron our fabulous ampersand sashes for our Spring & Summer 2014 GSWS graduates. You don’t need to be graduating to help out. Everyone’s invited! 
     
    We can do it potluck style: everyone bring something thirst-quenching or delicious. We’ll hang out in the conference room in Crenshaw (Room 103), listen to some jams and de-stress together during the final week of school while being creative.

    Know how to sew? Help us out! Want to learn how to DIY screenprint? We’ll help you out!

    GSEX Sash-making Party days this week:

    (4/29) TODAY! Tuesday 1 to 4pm (during the final JAIL MAIL)

    (4/30) Wednesday 2 to 5pm

     


  13. A collab interview of some of the people in the GSEX Art Mafia

    In your own words, what is the show about?

    The show examines how categories of identity and concepts of place are produced in various art forms, from photography to performance to painting.  

    It includes artists outside of the VCU arts community, and incorporates poetry and film into the dialogue enabling different forms of creative expression.

    It presents work that expands or nuances dominant categories and binaries of identity while examining concepts of place, specifically the idea of belonging or not belonging in either a conceptual or geographical space.


    How did you get involved?

    I first got involved my junior year when I submitted work to the spring show organized by Art Mafia. After seeing the work and amount of people involved, I wanted to be a part of the planning process. I liked that the work shown was not just work from the Fine Arts building but intergrated other art majors like photo, film, kinetic imaging, communication arts, and graphic design. There was also work from local artists and poetry was organized into the show too. I liked how accessible the show was in this way. It disrupted hierarchies that can occur within the art school and worked to include various forms of making and expression that are not always considered or accepted (i.e. poetry & zines!) It also was not afraid to create discussion around categories and issues of identity such a race, class, and gender. There definitely is a lot of work that starts conversation around these concepts in the art school but it was really powerful to see it all in one place. I wanted to be a part of that conversation.

     

    What will you be contributing to the show?

    I collaborated on a piece with Elisa Rios! We printed on velvet — it’s on the second floor of Crenshaw! Also with the help of Safiya Bridgewater, I organized a program zine. I had a lot of fun making it and it was crucial to have a program that represented each artist involved and gave insight into how and why they made their work.

     

    What was the preparation like? Extremely collaborative?

    Earlier on in the semester, the GSWS Dept sends out a call for folks interested in planning the art show. We unofficially call this group the Art Mafia. We send the call out to artists who’ve been in the show before and to folks who’ve helped plan the show before, but also to the entire GSWSstudent body, alumni, and anyone who follows us on social media. There is plenty cross-over with students and faculty who are both in the arts and in GSWS. But being an artist or artsy is not a requirement to be in the Art Mafia. Then we hold meetings (sometimes with pizza!) where we brainstorm ideas and concepts of an event. And from there we make it happen—we plan it out step by step. Usually, interest in the project grows and friends of folks planning the show show up to help too. So, yes, the preparation for this show, from conceptualizing to jurying to figuring out which pieces go where is a very collaborative process.

     

    What are you most excited about?

    I’m most excited about student-led panel discussion about performance and identity. This is going to be the first time we integrate a discussion about the ideologies of the show within the show. It will be interesting to be in an non-classroom academic, artistic space where performances are taking place at the same time we are talking about the performances of our lives.

    There will also be two performances taking place during the show, one by Gabby Namm and another by Tara German. We hope that live performances along with live poetry will make a powerful connection to the panel discussion.

    How has your involvement with the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies department influenced the work that you make?

    My involvement in GSWS has had a large impact on my work. Several of my classes, professors, and texts have generated concepts and directions for me. This semester, a lot of my readings in Dr. Pathak’s class have influenced my understanding of knowledge production and representation. In this class we have discussed the limited and fixed narratives that are often created for categories of identity and how this can be colonizing— We’ve also talked about how the lumping together of race or gender or class can be homogenizing. This can be difficult to unpack and has many complex layers especially when making work within an academic setting; however art provides the opportunity, the space to expand and disrupt these narratives — it can allow individuals to create their own narrative.

     

    What do you hope people will take away from the show?

    I hope that the work will confront issues of place and how it can affect performance of self. Ultimately I want everyone to have fun! Participate in some of the interactive work installed, take a zine home, and read poetry at the open mic!

    Thank you so much - is there anything else you’d like to add?

    The show will be up through Spring and Summer Semesters, so please come to 919 W Franklin Street to check it out! Unfortunately our building is not accessible, so we are working to expand the show beyond our building in the future. Wanna help us do that? Let’s get a head start for next year! Email gsws@gmail.com.

    XOXO

    Art Mafia

     


  14. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

    by Tennessee Williams

    directed by VCU’s & TCP’s Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates

     

  15. vcu-gsex:

    Hey GSEXers,

    It’s about that time to start thinking about graduation! It’s also about that time to make another batch of graduation sashes. Yes, we make our own sashes here in GSEX. We need to pin, sew, screenprint, and iron our fabulous ampersand sashes for our Spring 2013 GSEX graduates. You don’t need to be graduating to help out. Everyone’s invited! 
    We can do it potluck style: everyone bring something thirst-quenching or delicious. We’ll hang out in the conference room in Crenshaw, listen to some jams and de-stress together during exam week while being creative.

    We’re doing it again this year! Know how to sew? Help us out! Want to learn how to DIY screenprint? We’ll help you out!

    GSEX Sash-making days this week, tomorrow, during JAIL MAIL

    (4/29) Tuesday 1 to 4pm

    &  (4/30) Wednesday 2 to 5pm

    We have a lot of GSEX graduates this year!