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Rowan University gallery set to become South Jersey contemporary art hub

South Jersey could become the area's next contemporary art hub, if Mary Salvante keeps up the good work at Glassboro's Rowan University Art Gallery. The Program Director and curator of the space opens a show tonight that melds a multitude of disciplines. Artist Beverly Semmes' exhibit, entitled The Feminist Responsibility Project, combines installation with live performance and video to explore what Salvante terms the third wave of feminism.

"The title is heavy handed in a way. It's a response to the weight of feminism and the role it has s played in culture and politics. It's meant to be ironic and paradoxical as well," says Salvante, who is in her second year as gallery director. The installation, which includes a massive white cloud made of fabric, altered pornographic images, a video of a woman kicking pink potatoes across a white frozen lake, and a performance piece involving two archetypes: The Bitch and the Super Puritan, who sit down to a puzzle made from an altered pornographic image. These elements are meant to juxtapose the last wave of feminism, now considered somewhat over the top, with the attitudes of young women today.

Salvante first saw Beverly Semmes at The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, and says she was drawn to the way Semmes uses fabric as a sculptural material,and how the multimedia aspect of the work adds to the tension of what she is trying to communicate. Semmes lives in New York City and has exhibited internationally, brings a new level of quality to Rowan's offerings, offering the South Jersey institution the opportunity to expand the size of its regional cultural community. The Feminist Responsibility Project opens tonight, Tuesday March 29, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with a talk and live performance, and runs through May 14.

Source: Mary Salvante, Rowan University
Writer: Sue Spolan

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