August 13, 2007

East European art highlighted in ‘Off-Center’ exhibition

Joy of Life, a series of paintings by Jelena Tomasevic, is part of the “Off-Center Femininities” exhibition. Joy of Life, a series of paintings by Jelena Tomasevic, is part of the “Off-Center Femininities” exhibition.

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The feminist art movement of Eastern Europe will be represented during the upcoming exhibition “Off-Center Femininities” at Sacramento State’s Else Gallery in Kadema Hall.

The exhibition will be open from noon to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Sept. 4 through Oct. 12.

The artists—Ana Nedeljkovic, Sinisa Ilic, Tanja Ostojic, Nevena Popovic, Milena Putnik, Jelena Tomasevic, Milica Tomic and Sanja Zdrnja—are from Serbia and Montenegro, two countries that were formerly part of Yugoslavia. All but one of the artists is under the age of 30.

The exhibit curator is Jovana Stokic, who is from that region, and the co-curator is Sacramento State art professor Elaine O’Brien. Stokic will give a lecture at 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4, in Room 1000 of Mariposa Hall, followed by a reception in the Else Gallery.

These young artists represent the current wave of global feminism in art, O’Brien says, adding that the current movement is not limited to any one nation, race or culture.

However, women in many other parts of the world are less privileged and liberated than middle-class American women, O’Brien says, and their artwork reflects unique situations. “They are serious political artists,” she says, “but their politics are personal and passionate with a lot of tough, wicked girl humor.” This exhibition is not for the easily shocked and not for children, she adds.

Stokic teaches at the Fine Arts Academy in Serbia and knows the art scene there. “I believe these artists have something to say in a global context,” she says. “Their works often expand our preconceived notions of representations of femininity.”

Funding for the exhibition is provided by a grant through Associated Students, Inc. and Stokic’s appearance is underwritten by the Sacramento State Women’s Resource Center.

O’Brien emphasizes the importance of having the artist, or someone closely aligned with the work, appear on campus. “If we can’t have these people actually come here, there’s much less educational experience,” she says.

For more information, call the Art Department at (916) 278-6166 or visit www.asn.csus.edu/art. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.