In March, The Craig Gallery is hosting an exhibit called “femininsight” by sculptor Barb M. Schmeisser. The show explores female identity and gender image through the witty pairing of steel sculptures and “girl-y” fashion.
Barb, tell us a little about yourself and how you became an artist.
BS: Becoming an artist is a work in progress for me. As a child, I dabbled and as a teenager I took art. Then off to university, got a job and lived the good life as a single, carefree professional. To my surprise at 35, I married a widower with two children and found time to take some art classes. An early retirement package paved the way for my own renaissance and I went to NSCAD and thereafter we built my studio/workshop and here I am.
What can people expect to see at the femininsight exhibit?
BS: I expect they will see themselves or someone they know. They also might see a stereotype or a cliché.
How did you come up with the topic?
BS: The existence of several outfits that I had made between 1998 and 2006 for my grand-daughter who is now 17 was the catalyst for the topic- exploring social and cultural factors contributing to female identity and gender roles. Of course, fashion and changing styles are only one factor impacting self imagery. The theme expanded over three years.
Why is it called femininsight?
BS: femininsight for the exhibition’s title seemed the right combination given the intent is to offer insights about that which contributes to our femininity/female identity.
Why is the topic important to you?
BS: The topic was important because it would not go away. I really had to do something and I’m probably a better woman for it.
Can you describe your creative process?
BS: My creative process is intuitive and while I am working away it is sooooo rewarding. Love working with my hands , word- smithing is in my past.
What’s your favourite piece in the exhibit. (Or is that like asking a mother to pick her favourite child?)
BS: Favourite piece/child? Although, my family teases me, and my grand-daughter is “weirded out”, all my ‘children’ are my favourites. Come and you’ll see.
What do you hope people will feel/take-away from the show?
BS: I hope people will like the unusual combination of steel as medium representing an equally strong subject matter and maybe people will take away knowledge that will be enlightening and empowering.
The exhibit runs March 5-March 29 at The Craig Gallery in Alderney Landing
Opening reception March 4th, 7-9PM – Wine and refreshments will be served. All welcome. FREE event
Illustrated Artist Talk March 15th 1:30-2:30PM