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Woman in the Convex Mirror: Women’s Self-Portraits


  • Sacramento Poetry Center 1719 25th Street Sacramento, CA, 95816 United States (map)

I've got this piece, Never Better, from the waaay, long ago past in this show of self portraits. I always think of my work as self portrait but honestly, this is the only piece that resembles my likeness. Yes, that is fake fur. I mural printed huge negatives in the darkroom to create this Van Dyke print on fake fur. The Van Dyke process is a vintage photographic process for sure and usually it prints, brown just like it's name which is named after the Van Dyke brown paint.

The curator of the show, Bethanie Humprheys, and American River College art department head Sarah Solis Mattson were interviewed about the nature of how women view themselves in the age of the selfie were on Insight, on Capital Public Radio about the show. The conversation is worth a listen and I was so delighted to be mentioned during it.

Second Saturday Reception: March 12th, 5-8 pm

The show will be up in the Sacramento Poetry Center Art Gallery March 1-26.

The show’s title is a reference to “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” the title of two famous works: the late Renaissance self-portrait by Parmigianino, and the poem by John Ashberry, which also references that painting.

This much-awaited show was inspired partly as a way to celebrate Women’s History Month, and partly because of a series of conversations curator, Bethanie Humprheys had had with other artists on the particular psychological difficulty that women seem to have not only in creating, but also in showing self-portraits. It is this discomfort, and questioning the role gender plays in the intent and purpose of self-portraits as fine art that she's interested in.

The reception begins at 5 p.m. with light refreshments, mix and mingling, and quite possibly some ukelele music. At 6:30 pm we will begin the structured part of the evening. There will be a panel discussion followed by an open mic style reading of poems as self-portraits, interpretive dance as self-portraits, etc.

The panel will include Sarah Solis-Mattson, Dawn Blanchfield, and Bethanie Humprheys.

Dawn Blanchfield works in multiple mediums including encaustic, collage, mixed-media painting, photography, and a range of printmaking techniques. Her work has been shown in group, solo, and juried exhibits throughout the state. Blanchfield has photographs in Lincoln Public Library’s permanent collection as well as private collections in California and New York.

Sarah Solis Mattson, professionally exhibiting under the name S. S. Solis, is a California native and currently lives in the Sacramento region. She received her M. F. A. in Drawing and Painting from California State University Long Beach in 2000; is a professional artist exhibiting throughout the United States and is a professor of art at American River College in Sacramento.

Hope to see you there!

Earlier Event: January 19
Consilience of Art & Science Exhibition
Later Event: September 10
Sac Open Studios