The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts presents the work of Courtney Kessel in her solo exhibition “mother lode” on display in the J.D. Brooks Memorial Gallery in Wallman Hall through Friday, Oct. 3.
Gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. An exhibition opening and artist’s lecture are planned for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Brooks Gallery.
A mother, artist, arts administrator and academic, Courtney Kessel lives and works in Athens, Ohio. She currently is the exhibitions and events coordinator at a non-profit arts organization, The Dairy Barn Arts Center. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art in 1998 and completed an MFA in Sculpture & Expanded Practices and a certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies in 2012 at Ohio University. Kessel studied at Temple University in Rome, Italy, from 1995-1996.
Through sculpture, performance, video and sound, Kessel’s work strives to make visible the quiet, understated and often unseen love and labor of motherhood. Her work transcends the local binary of public/private and extends into the repositioning of the ongoing, non-narrative, excessive dialogic flow that occurs within the domestic space. Kessel examines language and maternity through a feminist lens thereby opening a dialog between what is seen and not seen.
“My current work and research is focused on the possibility of what a feminist form may consist of beyond current feminist content, imagery and histories,” Kessel explains.
“Through sculpture, performance, video and sound, I perform a visibility that, in normative patriarchal society, is preferred to remain invisible. The question of feminist form transcends the product and is inclusive of my practice and methodology. In doing this, a slippage occurs where the separation of studio activity and domestic responsibility is blurred.”