'The Uncommon Apron' takes on a socially and politically charged subject

Layton, N.J. The 47 women artists in a provocative new exhibit coming to Peters Valley School of Craft challenge traditional ideas of women's social roles and family life.

Layton /
Aug 14 2019 | 03:33 PM

An upcoming exhibition at Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, N.J., comments on the changing social roles and mores related to work, familial life and identity.

"Domestic Matters: The Uncommon Apron," curated by Gail M. Brown, will be exhibited in the Sally D. Francisco Gallery from Aug. 31 through Nov. 3. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, with a gallery talk at 6 p.m.

This invitational focuses on work in craft media made specifically for the show. It makes reference to historic connections to occupation, community, and household roles. The apron, a domestic icon that's often socially and politically charged, sets the theme for the 47 women artists participating in the show.

Metalsmith Harriete Estel Berman’s work "Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the Front Door from the Street," a wall piece made from recycled tin cans and vintage steel dollhouses, addresses the hypocrisy of the provocative images of women in consumer packaging and advertising and the devaluing of domestic roles -- from cleaning and cooking to early childhood care and the domestic arts, techniques the artist used to create the piece. By contrast, Lindsay Obermeyer’s knitted piece "Empty Nesting" speaks to the artist’s mixed emotions about the strings, personal and societal, that tie a mother and child together.

Gail M. Brown is a renowned curator of contemporary craft. Among the 80-plus exhibitions she has curated, most recently are: An Exuberance of Color In Studio Jewelry, Tansey Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM, 2016; The Evocative Garden, the NCECA Annual, Portland, OR, 2017; and Current Reflections On The Natural and Manmade, Landmark Arts Gallery, Texas Tech University, 2017. In 2019, in addition to this exhibition, Gail curated Mastery in Jewelry and Metals: Irresistible Offerings! Celebrating SNAG’s 50th Anniversary, Chicago, IL; and Westward Ho! A Look At Contemporary Craft in the SW, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA.

The Gallery at Peters Valley School of Craft is located at 19 Kuhn Rd., Layton, N.J. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

About Peters Valley School of Craft

Peters Valley School of Craft is a non-profit educational center for the exploration, promotion and practice of fine craft, located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Funding for Peters Valley is provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and New Jersey Historic Trust, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Marie & John Zimmermann Fund, Windgate Charitable Foundation, Charles Lawrence Keith & Clara Miller Foundation, Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, The Greater Pike Community Foundation, and New Jersey Cultural Trust, and by its members and individual donors. For more information visit petersvalley.org.

Participating artists are:
Harriete Estel Berman
Jen Blazina
Elizabeth Brim
Jessica Calderwood
Rebecca Chappell
Pattie Chalmers
Kate Clements
Cynthia Consentino
Jennifer Datchuk
Liz Alpert Fay
Susan Taylor Glasgow
Jill Baker Gower
Rachel Grobstein
Susan Hagen
Karen Hampton
Reineke Hollander
Wendy Huhn
Lissa Hunter
Nicole Jacquard
Kate Kretz
Tracy Krumm
Margaux Lange
Lee Malerich
Donna Rhae Marder
Kristen Martincic
Carol Milne
Sana Musasama
Lindsay Obermeyer
Mary Hallam Pearse
Laura Petrovich-Cheney
Luanne Rimel
Gwen Samuels
Marian Schoettle/MAU
Karyl Sisson
Damia Smith
Jo Stealey
Melissa Stern
Missy Stevens
Claudia Tarantino
Billie Theide
Shalene Valenzuela
Mallory Weston
Blake Williams
Kimberly Winkle
Leah Woods
Janis Mars Wunderlich
Renee Zettle-Sterling