About Additional Support:
Support: to be capable of bearing; withstand.
The body demands support due to numerous physical and psychical circumstances. As the body progresses through it’s lifetime, its natural framework is challenged, and the need for additional support is revealed through the body’s awkwardness, vulnerability, and visceral nature. In response, individuals and society create various tools to hide, enhance, or transform the body (i.e. undergarments, piercings, etc.), enabling it to function in an acceptable way within society. Additional Support explores possible manifestations of such creations– if a body accepts society’s methods of support, is the body in turn accepted by society? The work demonstrates tension between acceptance of and repulsion to the body, calling into question the motivations behind such judgments and redefining the notion of “misfit.” In exploring the body’s incongruence with its surroundings, the three bodies of work represent failed attempts to reconcile the physical image of the body with self-image. The exhibition also plays with the artwork’s need for support to assume meaning: from the video and performances supporting the wearable art and the cast hangers giving a sense of the missing body, to the paintings negotiations with the frame.
About the Artists:
Jessica Jacobi’s small metal sculptures are designed to question methods for defining acceptable body conditions. Originally from Houston, she received her B.F.A.in Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin and her M. F. A. in Metals and Jewelry Design from Texas Tech University. She has exhibited at national juried exhibitions -- from Elder Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska to Meadows Gallery at the Center for the Visual Arts in Denton, Texas. She exhibited in 2008 Craft Texas show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and her works have also been displayed at Runnels Gallery, Eastern New Mexico State University and Landmark Arts Studio Gallery at Texas Tech University School of Art.
Kelley Devine studied sculpture and visual arts at Southeastern Louisiana University and has now exhibited at various shows from Jonathan Ferrera Gallery in New Orleans and SLU Visual Arts Society Exhibitions in Hammond, La. to Galleria Lazzara and Sculptures by Design Studio in Houston. Devine describers herself as “a mother, artist, entrepreneur and student” and says her art helps her communicate what she sees as the opposing forces within the human psyche. “As a painter and a sculptor, I strive to incorporate the concept of how self-perception and internalization differs from the perceptions and assumptions of others, by combining materials, applications or images that are visually and psychologically contrary to one another.”
Originally from Israel, Hagit Barkai received an MFA degree from Penn State University, a B.A. in Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and also studied at the Jerusalem Studio School. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at Praxis Gallery, New York; Houston Art League; Chashama, Gallery, New York ; Crane Gallery, Philadelphia; Fe Gallery, Pittsburgh; and the Pennsylvania State Museum, in Harrisburg. She has been featured in the Houston Chronicle; the Pittsburgh City Paper, and in Research Penn State. Awards include the College Art Association Professional Development Fellowship in Visual Arts in 2008, first place for the Visual Arts in the Graduate Research Exhibition at Penn State University in 2007, a travel grant to Israel from The School of Visual Arts at Penn State in 2006, and being selected to represent Penn State in the Big Ten Conference in Chicago in 2006.
Barkai said she looks at “body languages of vulnerability, awkwardness and misfits as expressions that move between acceptance and resistance.” She seeks to maintain balance between one’s struggles to gain visibility and struggles to escape it. “I paint bodies for what they fail to be, for how they fail to settle in any image or concept that confine and regulate them, and for how they are never able to close the gap between appearance and experience,” the artist explains. “I am painting in an attempt to capture this moment of losing and gaining respectability.
For more information about Spacetaker, visit the www.spacetaker.org.
Spacetaker is a 501(c)3 professional organization and Artist Resource Center located in Houston’s First Ward whose mission it to provide artists and small non-profits access to economic development, continuing education, and networking opportunities to support their professional growth. Spacetaker is located at 2101 Winter Street, Studio B11 Houston 77007.