A few changes were made to the “Pink” art gallery in Malone Hall on Thursday, Feb. 13th —pink cupcakes, pink cookies, pink tea, a projector and an enthusiastic and smiling artist were added the pieces already in place from the previous week.
Artist Libby Rowe made the trip to campus from San Antonio to talk about her work, her inspiration and to exhibit even more pieces that weren’t placed in Malone. Director Greg Skags gave her a very warm welcome, introducing her not only as an artist, but as a good friend of his as well. The artist herself was energetic, beginning her presentation by thanking everyone who helped her.
“It was definitely a team effort,” she said.
Rowe started on pieces for “Pink” while she was still in graduate school, and it has been a work-in-progress ever since.
“I can look back through the years and see my way of thinking in all the pieces,” she said. She also had some advice for all the art majors and art enthusiasts in the audience — “Don’t leave school with an end, with something finished —leave with something finished plus something to get you started and keep you going.”
In her slideshow presentation, Rowe showed the audience pieces not included in “Pink,” and shared the personal stories and backgrounds that accompanied each piece.
“My work is about taboos and looking at all these things that society says are uncomfortable,” she said about her exhibit as a whole. “Vagina Sleeping Bag,” “Slinky Dick,” “Ties That Bind,” “Foreplay Bra” and “I Must Have a Crush on You” are but a few of the many pieces that didn’t fit in Malone Hall. Though her work is envelope-pushing and thought-provoking, Rowe claims that no one has ever openly taken offense to her feminist artwork.
One piece that she went into greater detail about, “Not a Sir,” seemed to sum up the feeling for her entire show.
“Being called ‘sir’ started ticking away at my idea of femininity,” Rowe said. “More and more now, feminism and masculinity are interchanged, and, if we could embrace that more often, I wouldn’t mind being called ‘sir’ so much.”
Rowe proved to be a very open-minded and relatable woman, answering the audience’s questions and taking compliments graciously. As her presentation came to a close, she talked more about her work as a whole and what it means to her. Before directing everyone to the cupcakes, she said, “This thing we live in, the human body, is pretty hilarious. It’s ridiculous. Connecting to my viewers through that is what my work is about.”