Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in the New Millennium

November 19 – January 20

Since its inception in 1999, the ALVA Gallery has dedicated the November/December exhibition to themes relevant to the deeper meaning of the holiday season; to the ideas of thanks and celebration and ties between people. This exhibition has historically taken the form of a legacy show with works by artists of different generations within the same family.

This year the gallery embarks on a new direction from family to country. The new exhibition series will be based on ideas that illustrate what is inherent to the experience of being an American.

It is the gallery’s intention to provoke audiences to reflect on where our cultural roots lie and where their branches are going. The inaugural exhibition of the American Legacies series – Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in the New Millennium – is an invitational featuring work by twenty-five artists in a variety of media including photography, painting, sculpture, video and assemblage. Participating artists include internationally acclaimed names such as Louise Bourgeois, Carlos Estevez, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Carrie Mae Weems, as well as regional and local favorites including Diane Barcelo, Siona Benjamin, Colleen Coleman, Judy Cotton, Margaret Evangeline, Enrico Ferorelli, Josephine Ferorelli, Carole Feuerman, Francie Bishop Good, Jan Good, Peter Harron, Maureen McCabe, Mark McKee, James Montford, Deborah Muirhead, Stewart Paley, Janet Shafner, Anita Soos, Joe Standart, Ella Tulin, and Kitty Winslow.

The inspiration for this exhibition came from Martha Saxton, a professor at Amherst College, who in 2003 published a book entitled “Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America.” In it she traces the lives of women over three centuries in three distinct American cultures: 17th century Puritan Massachusetts, which left women devoid of rights and sexually repressed, 18th century Virginia, which imposed and juxtaposed Southern white culture and slave culture onto the female morality of the time and 19th century Missouri, where there was a confluence of the attitudes of the Virginia slave-owning culture and the more indulgent culture of the elite colonial French.

The participating artists have been invited to create a work that resonates with all of these heady themes; the resulting show should be provocative, inspirational, perhaps irritating and certainly transformative, as viewers will share in the variety of creative interpretations. In addition, the gallery has invited several writers to respond to the themes in Saxton’s book either in prose or poetry. Those scheduled to read include the book’s author Martha Saxton, Michael Bradford, Clarissa Beyah-Taylor, Sue Levine, Rhonda Ward and Abby Wender.

Carole Feuerman, Two Button Vest, oil, painted resin, 18″ x 14″ x 4″, 1983

Carole Feuerman, Panda, oil, painted resin, 8″ x 6 ½” x 3 ¼”, 1976-1978


Maureen McCabe, Sophie’s Advice, mixed media on paper, 17″ x 19 ½” x 2″, 2005


Maureen McCabe, Sophie’s Advice (Detail), mixed media on paper, 17″ x 19 ½” x 2″, 2005


James Montford, Blue Babies: Constellations 02, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 12″ x 12″, 2005


James Montford, Blue Babies: Constellations 01, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 12″ x 12″, 2005


Francie Bishop Good, Stop Looking at My Tits,Chromogenic print, 1/5, mounted on sintra, 20″ x 30″, 2005


Carrie Mae Weems, May Flowers Long Forgotten, DVD, 2002

 Ella Tulin, Celebration, bronze, 2 pieces, 15″ x 17″ x 8″ and 6″ x 6″ x 6″, 2000  

Siona Benjamin, Finding Home #70 (Rachel), gouache and gold leaf on paper, 16 x 13 inches, 2005


Siona Benjamin, Finding Home #55 (Menorah), gouache & gold leaf on wood panel, 20 x 16 inches, 2002


Barkley L. Hendricks, God She is Black, mixed media, 24″ x 12″ x 7″, 2005


Barkley L. Hendricks, God She is Black (detail), mixed media, 24″ x 12″ x 7″, 2005


Peter Harron, Torso, silver gelatin photograph, 9″ x 13″, nd.


Joe Standart, Brooke and Nicole, archival giclée, 36″ x 48″, 2004


Stewart Paley, Naughty, acrylic and collage on wood panel, 12″ x 11″, 2005


Carlos Estevez, Tesnia de la Seducion, hand-tinted etching, 14 ¾” x 9″ image, 2005


Mark Gerard McKee, Font, oil on wood with fabric, nails and found object, 39 ½” x 13″, 2000


Diane Barcelo Flirtacious (detail), digital photograph, total 36″ x 36,” 8″ x 8″ each, 2005


Diane Barcelo Modesty (detail), digital photograph, total 36″ x 36,” 8″ x 8″ each, 2005


Margaret Evangeline, Desire # 1, pigment print, oil paint & video still, 24″ x 24″, 2005


Margaret Evangeline, Desire # 2, pigment print, oil paint & video still, 24″ x 24″, 2005


Deborah Muirhead, Untitled, digital photograph on archival rag paper, 28″ x 36″, 2005


Judy Cotton, Good Girl, encaustic, 14″ x 14″, 2005


Judy Cotton, Shh – Good Girl, encaustic, 12″ x 16″, 2005


Colleen Coleman, Catechism


Colleen Coleman, Topsey


Anita Soos, Forbidden Fruit, oil & charcoal on canvas, 38″ x 38″, 2005