Gallery gets manly

Friday, August 5, 2011

If it truly is a man's world, they've taken it back this month at Black Door Gallery.

Last month, the gallery held Feminine Perspectives, an all-woman art show organized to highlight women in the visual arts. The show started in 2008.

This year, the gallery will follow Feminine Perspectives with ManArt, an all-male art show to give them their time in the studio light.

Some may argue that men take up most of the wall space in galleries and women should plan these feminine shows to get the attention they deserve.

I don't buy that.

I think if women are aggressive and talented, they can hang -- and sell -- as much art as our opposite gender. Women make up roughly half of the members on art boards in Cape Girardeau and in St. Louis.

I think the Feminine Perspectives show is important because it brings women together. It allows the casual artist -- the mother or the career woman -- to participate in a show with others like her when she normally wouldn't have enough art or time to organize a solo show.

For these reasons, I don't mind the gallery planning an all-male show -- as if to placate boys wanting to do what the girls do. The entire show is different -- from the subject matter down to the refreshments of beer and pretzels.

A few familiar men signed up for this show: David Crowe, Charlie Kent and Edwin Smith among them.

Two themes translate: variety -- each exhibit included photos, paintings, sculptures and mixed media -- and sexuality, though this motif took significant turns from women to men. Hopefully you saw the Feminine Perspectives show and can now view the ManArt exhibit to appreciate it.

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