Genevieve Gaignard, Do You Only Want to See What You Believe?, 2022, Found mirrors, vintage wallpaper, 102″ x 90 1/2″ x 1″, Courtesy the Artist and Vielmetter, Los Angeles. (photo by Brica Wilcox)
Oppenheimer, Thompson and Anonymous Galleries: First Floor
In times of political, social and economic strife, what better balm than the simple pleasure of adorning self and space through jewelry, clothing and physical transformation? To adorn is to bring about beauty, to prepare oneself, to hold space — whether it be a daily practice, or one saved for special occasions. We don glitter and gold for a night on the town, and anoint ourselves with holy water and incense for the spiritual plane. We invest in objects to further our personal style: a pair of hand-me-down earrings that makes us feel powerful, or the jeans that fit exactly right. We decorate ourselves in the antique and the modern, the heirloom and the trinket, the statement piece and the impulse purchase. We use these decorations to both stand apart and to signal to others within our desired communities.
We branch out beyond ourselves and embellish our spaces as extensions of our bodies, our homes, our workplaces and neighborhoods. Within our rooms we reify our identities with treasured objects and
inherently personal decor. We embellish our environments so that within them, we may see reflections of ourselves.
As human beings, we express ourselves in countless ways, but the most innate is through the art of adornment. We communicate to those around us who we have been, who we are and who we wish to be. Before leaving the house, we glimpse ourselves and see ourselves glittering, and within that sparkle — a promise. With this exhibition, we explore that promise: to be our true selves through the act of adornment. We reflect on the adornment of self and space, from the sacred to the mundane, the holy to the profane. Once adorned, we feel both confidence and comfort in this chaotic world.
Adorned embodies the spirit of collaboration. In three separate installations, we highlight an underrecognized asset: The Fashion Collection at Johnson County Community College, overseen by Joy Rhodes, Professor and Chair of JCCC’s Fashion Merchandising & Design Department. Selections from The Fashion Collection provide the impetus for the installations by Boi Boy, co-curator of Adorned, Artist and Communications and Volunteer Coordinator at Charlotte Street Foundation. JoAnne Northrup, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, also co-curated the exhibition.
Adorned features a significant loan of contemporary art drawn from the collection of Christy and Bill Gautreaux.. The exhibition also features a loan of 50 exceptional bolo ties, each an artwork in its own right, selected from the collection of Cindy and Larry Meeker. Artists in Adorned include Caroline Achaintre, Zack Balber, Kevin Beasley, Valérie Belin, Sanford Biggers, Boi Boy, Patty Carroll, Nick Cave, Carlos Rolón/Dzine, Angela Ellsworth, Andrew Erdos, Genevieve Gaignard, Vanessa German, Luis Gispert and Jeffrey Reed, Martine Gutierrez, Charles Loloma, Roberto Lugo, Marilyn Minter, Preston Monongye, Dylan Mortimer, Zanele Muholi, Kori Newkirk, Rashaad Newsome, Angel Otero, Ebony G. Patterson, Sydney Pener, Umar Rashid, Wendy Red Star, Rozeal, Devan Shimoyama, Rose B. Simpson, Jennifer Steinkamp, Hank Willis Thomas, and others.
In conjunction with Adorned, this fall the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art will open a permanent display of American Indian jewelry in JCCC’s Billington Library, Second Floor, curated by Founding Executive Director and Chief Curator, Bruce Hartman.