Artspace Three Decades of Change
 

Joan Fitzsimmons Featured in Artspace’s Three Decades of Change: Artspace’s 30th Reunion

Joan Fitzsimmons is featured in Artspace’s Three Decades of Change: Artspace’s 30th Reunion in New Haven, CT. The show opens Friday, June 23, 2017 with a curator and artist led exhibition walk through on Saturday, June 24 from 4:45–6:00 pm, as well as an opening reception and special performance from 6:00–8:00 pm.

On the occasion of their thirtieth birthday, Artspace is excited to revisit twelve landmark exhibitions that have shaped, sustained and defined their organization since the mid 1980s. These exhibitions represent a range of curatorial perspectives, styles, and economic means, as well as an ever-changing relationship to the City of New Haven. To uncork these histories, Artspace Curator Sarah Fritchey invited twelve curator-alums to revisit one show they organized during their time at Artspace. Each curator was then asked to identify one artwork from the show that they wished to present for a second time, either in its original version or a modified version.

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Joan Fitzsimmons with works from her Surveillance: Warsaw series

The results of these curator-artist reunions fill the galleries with a trove of archival treasures: images from the streets of New Haven, stories of lifelong relationships, and glimpses into three decades of exhibitions that probed some of the most urgent social, political and material questions of their day. Strikingly, probing questions around race and representation, immigration, the health care industry, and technology’s growing pervasive influence remain prescient today.

The exhibition also unearths some surprising details. Few people know that Artspace has occupied eight buildings over the course of its life, at one point renaming itself “untitled (space) gallery” to recognize its uncertain future. Also, nine of the show’s curator-alums were artists, and all nine maintain active studio practices. These histories weave together a more complete picture of Artspace as an artist-minded, idea-driven organization that has come to expect, embrace and respond to change. As they enter their fourth decade, they are truly indebted to those who have kept us alive over the years.

Featured exhibitions include: Interrupted Lives: The Art of AIDS, 1990, curated by Gerald Saladyga with work by Gerald Saladyga. Subversive Issues in Media, 1993, curated by ­Suzan Shutan with work by James Montford and collaborator Shola Cole, Beyond the Camera, 1994, and Barriers and Enclosures, 1996, curated by Eileen Doktorski with work by Jacek Malinowski and Joan Fitzsimmons, Ain’t I a Woman, 1995, curated by Colleen Coleman with work by Deborah Dancy, Soft, 2002, curated by Debbie Hesse with work by Eric Conrad, Between Fear and Freedom: Duct Tape, 2002, curated (as a stand for the original curators Mark Andreas and Jeff Benjamin) by Sarah Fritchey with Mohamad Hafez, Mythical Nation, 2003, curated by Johanna Bresnick with work by Larry Lee, For the Birds, 2004, curated by Denise Markonish with Christopher Mir, 101 Dresses, 2007, curated by Linda Lindroth with Robert Taplin, Library Science, 2012, curated by Rachel Gugelberger with Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson, and City-Wide Open Studios: Crystal Palace, 2012, curated by Liena Vayzman with Shana Moulton and Thorsten Fleisch.

This exhibition is part of Artspace’s 30th Anniversary Reunion Weekend, which presents a series of free panels, workshops and social-events in locations around New Haven from June 23 to June 25. This program was made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, the Tremaine Foundation, Merril Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc/The Outtrim Group, and Friends of Artspace. Hospitality sponsors include EDC of New Haven/The Study Hotel, B-Natural Cafe, and Litchfield Distillery. The show closes July 8, 2017.

Joan Fitzsimmons, a professor of photography, is a practicing photographer who exhibits nationally and internationally. Her work is in a number of museum and private collections. joanfitzsimmons.com. She oversees the area of photography in the Studio Arts Program. Fitzsimmons holds a B.F.A from Washington University, and an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Artspace’s mission is to catalyze artistic activities; connect contemporary artists, audiences, and resources; and enrich art experiences and activate art spaces. Artspace is open Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00-6:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12:00-8:00 pm, closed Sunday through Tuesday, and is located at 50 Orange Street, corner of Orange and Crown, in New Haven. For more information, visit artspacenh.org or call 203.772.2709.

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