May 11- June 2, 2019
Opening reception Saturday May 11th, 6-10pm
Ruth Owens, Katrina Andry, Porscha Danielle
My daughter was dating a man that was trying to impress her by mentioning she came from a “good family.” His attempt at flattery felt uncomfortable and gave me reason to contemplate this loaded indicator of familial status. I grew up in what would be considered a marginalized family. It was headed by an African American father from outside Sugarland, TX and a German mother raised in post-war Europe. In the early 1960’s their marriage was not even legal in many states, discounting our family’s universal intimate and emotional experiences. Nevertheless, a strong focus on education resulted in my becoming a doctor and marrying a doctor and, boom, I was in a “good family.” Both the family of my youth and my more affluent present family were subjected to challenges and enjoyed successes common to all families, yet the societal perceptions of these two families were diametrically opposite.
This disconnect between the perceptions of those outside the family and the intimate experience within the family is what we are addressing in this exhibition. We are visually dispelling the notion that families “should” ascribe to sanctioned norms. Katrina Andry presents pulp paintings that appear playful and happy, yet refer to lingering familial loss that strikes a more sorrowful note. The gorgeous and dreamy color images projected by Porscha Danielle form a counterpoint to her exploration of isolation and loneliness within the family unit. My attention to visual engagement in both my paintings and video work are complicated by depictions of a mix of races not usually encountered by the viewer. This work will draw you in visually, but hopefully, you will stay for a while to ponder some of the deeper implications involved in what is expected of a “good family.”
Ruth Owens was born to a young German woman and a Black serviceman from Georgia in 1959. The nomadic military lifestyle of her childhood was complicated by restrictions to mixed families, and contributed to the formation of her cultural identity. She graduated in 2018 with an MFA from the University of New Orleans after leaving her medical practice of over 25 years. She is presently represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery of New Orleans, and belongs to the artist collectives: A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and “The Front” in New Orleans. She completed residencies at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA in February 2019 and at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT in 2018.
Her work is in the permanent collection of the Addison Gallery of American Art. Notable solo shows include “Identity Theft,” 2018, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans; “Baby Love,” 2018, University of New Orleans Gallery; “Conspiracies,” 2017, Barrister’s Gallery, New Orleans; and “Stepin’ Out,” 2016, Xavier University Chapel Gallery, New Orleans. Ruth has shown work at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Art on Paper Fair, 2019, NYC.
Porscha Danielle is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in painting and drawing working currently in the digital arts including 3D modeling and video projection installation. Originally from the Alaskan interior, she received her BFA from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Colorado and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of New Orleans.
A native of New Orleans, LA, Katrina Andry received an M.F.A in printmaking in 2010. She currently lives and works in New Orleans where she maintains a studio.
Andry’s work explores the negative effects of stereotypes on the lives of black people and how these stereotypes give rise to biased laws and ideologies in our society. Her large-scale prints confront the viewer with these derogatory cultural clichés. The figures in the prints represent those who are targeted by racist characterizations. However, Andry specifically uses non-minority figures in this role to illustrate the fact that stereotypes are unjustly perpetuated. Stereotypes are neither based in truth nor innate characteristics of a specific person, instead they are ideas forced onto a group of people as a whole. Portraying entire populations in a negative light, stereotypes confer on the perpetuator an impression of superiority and a greater sense of normalcy.
Andry’s more recent work expresses the collective experiences of black people in our society, such as problems of gentrification, unequal education, unequal pay, and gender politics through the lens of stereotyping an entire group of people.
Andry was listed in the September, 2012 Art in Print magazine as one of the top 50 printmakers. She has recently shown at the Hammonds House Museum (solo), the Pensacola Museum of Art (solo), and the New Orleans Museum of Art. She has also been an artist-in-residence at Anchor Graphics in Chicago.