FAU’s Jupiter Campus Library Presents Two Exhibitions, ‘Ladies’ Bar’ and ‘Product of My Environment’
JUPITER, FL (May 1, 2008) – Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Campus Library Gallery is hosting two exhibitions, “Ladies’ Bar” and “Product of My Environment,” from Monday, May 19, through Friday, August 8, on FAU’s Jupiter Campus, located at 5353 Parkside Drive.
John Sevigny, an American contemporary photographer who spent more than a decade photographing and writing about marginalized populations, including prostitutes and undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and Mexico, is exhibiting 25 black-and-white snapshots in “Ladies’ Bar.” Diane Arrieta, the gallery’s exhibition coordinator and an interdisciplinary artist, is exhibiting “Product of My Environment,” which features illustrations, sculptures and video.
“Ladies’ Bar” represents the year Sevigny spent in some of the roughest cantinas in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. He focused on cantina women who work as prostitutes and drinking companions, to create a metaphor for the treatment of women in Mexico and beyond.
“There’s no moral to the story that I’m telling with these pictures. My goal as a photographer has always been to get as close as possible to reality and get it down on little pieces of light-sensitive paper in order to share it with other people so that what’s good and bad in the world isn’t forgotten,” said Sevigny.
Photographing the cantina workers reminded Sevigny of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath in New Orleans when women at the Superdome faced slow deaths because of economic and social realities in the U.S. He states that “Ladies Bar” is not about victims. He has tried to capture the complexity of the women, their strengths, their weaknesses, their cruelties and generosity, their excesses and their vulnerabilities.
Sevigny, a Miami native who lives in Monterrey, Mexico, trained as an enterprise and investigative reporter at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida. His work also has appeared in newspapers, galleries and magazines in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other countries. Sevigny has won a number of writing and photography awards.
In “Product of My Environment” Arrieta reflects on the trials and tribulations of being an individual and trying to survive among the rules of society’s conservative views. Her show will include everything from graphic illustrations, painted skateboard decks to a mixed media installation involving black birds in men’s underwear.
Arrieta enjoys creating graphic illustrations on the computer and combining those with hand drawn graphite images. The topics for her work are based on childhood experiences and social issues she observes. Many of the issues deal with family and children. There is humor, even though the issues are serious.
“My work is based on concepts, social issues and passion,” said Arrieta.
An alumna of FAU, who was born in western Pennsylvania to parents of Czech/German and Native American decent, Arrieta was influenced by her father, who was a musician and artist. Arrieta does not remember a time when she wasn’t making art. She received her bachelor’s of fine arts degree from FAU in 1996, and became seriously focused as an artist in 2000 while doing her graduate studies at FAU.
Arrieta’s first solo exhibition was in 2003 at Eissey Art Gallery at Palm Beach Community College. Her work has been shown throughout the U.S., including galleries in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. She is a Palm Beach County recipient of the 2008 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Arts.
Library hours through August 4 are Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Call 561-799-8530 or visit www.library.fau.edu/npb/npb.htm.