“Above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that's why I made works of art.” – Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Taking its cues from a text-based artwork by the visual storyteller Ashley Hairston Doughty, I Am Here invites us to think about what it means to use art as a vehicle for personal narratives. What stories do artists choose to tell about themselves, and who is invited to talk?
This group exhibition will feature works on loan by Claudia DeMonte, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Carla Jay Harris, and Heidi Rider, as well as new additions to the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art collection by Catherine Angel, Tomoko Daido, DeMonte, Chase McCurdy, Krystal Ramirez, Lance L. Smith, and more. Other work from the collection will include painting, photography, sculpture, and installation by Doughty, Justin Favela, Clarity Haynes, Brent Holmes, and Mikayla Whitmore. Harris' artwork was developed in collaboration with historian Dr. Brenda Stevenson.
Populating the wall labels with quotes from artists talking about their lives, I Am Herebreaks with the practice of interpreting art through the writings of curators and brings the artists’ voices to the forefront. Together, their evocation of “here” ranges from a physical place with institutions and jobs (“I love Las Vegas and all the people who fought for my family to be here and to live a healthy and prosperous life” - Krystal Ramirez) to a state of mind. (“There are those moments, admittedly, a lot of the time when I’m making the work, where I feel as though I’m somewhere else and I’m transported elsewhere” - Chase McCurdy.)
Support for this exhibition is provided by the WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund, a relief grant developed in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support arts organizations in the 13-state western region during the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (L.A.) to the Marjorie Barrick Museum is made possible from the collection of the Art Bridges Foundation, a private operating foundation whose mission is to increase access to American art across the U.S.
The exhibition will be on view from September 24, 2021 through January 29, 2022.
About Art Bridges
Art Bridges is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton and is dedicated to expanding access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of nearly 150 museums of all sizes and locations to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, collection loans from Art Bridges and other museums, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection features American masterworks of historic American art to the present day and encompasses painting, sculpture, photography, among other mediums. For more information on who we reach and how to partner with Art Bridges, visit www.ArtBridgesFoundation.org and follow them @ArtBridgesFoundation.
About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to art that challenges our understanding of the present and inspires us to create a future that holds space for us all. Located on the campus of the most racially diverse university in the United States, we strive to create a nourishing environment for those who continue to be neglected by contemporary art museums, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ groups. As the only art museum in the city of Las Vegas, we commit ourselves to leveling barriers that limit access to the arts, especially for first-time visitors. To facilitate access for low-income guests we provide free entry to all our exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. Our collection of artworks offers an opportunity for researchers and scholars to develop a more extensive knowledge of contemporary art in Southern Nevada. The Barrick Museum is part of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).