New Exhibit to Use "Dick and Jane" Books to Weave History with the Personal and Political
Mon, 09/02/2013 - 4:24pm
“Reading Dick and Jane with Me,” an exhibition by Clarissa Sligh, will open with a reception at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, in UNC Asheville’s Intercultural Gallery in Highsmith University Union. Sligh also will present a talk, “Power, Privilege, Visibility,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the Highsmith University Union Grotto.
The Dick and Jane books, used to teach reading from the 1930s-1970s, presented an all-white (until 1965) and culturally homogeneous environment, which Sligh says made her feel as a young girl that her family “must be an aberration.” In Sligh’s exhibition, the children from her neighborhood, excluded from the Dick and Jane series, make their presence felt.
Sligh, who now lives and works in Asheville, describes herself as a storyteller who for more than 25 years has woven together the personal, political and historical in a variety of media including text-based installations, photographs and artists’ books. Her images and texts explore perception, ambivalence, duality and transformation – themes that have roots in her own experiences.
Sligh is a recipient of the International Center of Photography Annual Infinity Award (1995) and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts (2005), and the National Endowment for the Arts (1988). Her images are in museum collections including those of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
A 2012 interview with Sligh can be found at Art Works, the official blog of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sligh’s exhibition at the Intercultural Gallery will remain on view through October 21, with gallery hours 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 12-6 p.m. Sundays. The exhibition, reception and artist’s talk are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Intercultural Gallery website or call 828.251.6991.