It’s Still Political: Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in Contemporary Ceramics
Curated by Mac Star McCusker with Kelly Connole
Opening reception: Friday, March 6, 6 – 8 pm
It’s Still Political, curated by Mac Star McCusker with Kelly Connole as Curatorial Advisor, revisits the themes addressed by Sexual Politics: Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in Contemporary Ceramics, an exhibition originally on view at Northern Clay Center in the spring of 2015. In that exhibition, Kelly Connole wrote, “Artists have the potential to freeze a moment in our collective cultural history, record it, interpret it, and help us breathe in the truth of our own time.”
The theme is just as relevant today. It’s Still Political focuses on gender fluidity, specifically, gender expression. McCusker offers, “We are all forced to participate in narrowly defined gender roles. Feminine men and masculine women have assumptions immediately made about their sexuality even though gender expression and gender identity have nothing to do with sexuality.” Five years after the original exhibition, it is still a misconception frequently held in our culture.
This exhibition features works by artists who actively engage in and promote insightful dialogue about gender expression and identity and provides much-needed current perspectives on the subject within the context of both human experience and ceramics.
Participating artists include: Shane Elliot Bowers, Dekalb, Illinois; Shannon Gross, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Arthur Halvorsen, Somerville, Massachusetts; G.V. Kelley, Lincoln, Nebraska; Mac Star McCusker, Durham, North Carolina; Marval Rex, Los Angeles, California; and Maya Vivas, Portland, Oregon.
About the curator
A maker themself of wheel-thrown, slab-built, and sculpted ceramics, McCusker’s work “spotlights the policing of gender, anti-discrimination laws, Bathroom Bills, and issues addressing the LGBTQ community.” The artist has produced work in such series as The Transition Series, Project Canary: The Gender Magnet Drop, Trans-Action Figures, among others. McCusker lives and maintains a studio in North Carolina and currently teaches at Odyssey Clayworks. They hold an MFA from Georgia State University in Atlanta and a BA from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia.
Of their practice, McCusker says, “Living and working in the state of North Carolina has forced me to address things affecting my community, making me the subject of my own work. I have become, for better or worse, visible and vulnerable through making and creating ceramic sculptures. I am generating a dialogue about my life, my own narrative, political, and social concerns, and through that process I am educating others.”
Curator Talk with Mac Star McCusker
Join the curator of It’s Still Political: Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in Contemporary Ceramics, Mac Star McCusker, for a lecture and conversation surrounding topics of the associated exhibition.