Melanie Weavers Small Marian Sculptures
in Mixed Media February 1, 2010―April 9, 2010
Some titles speak for themselves. A short explanation of the title for this exhibit may be in order. The reference to
Postmodernity is frequently used to set a counter-point. Postmodernity opposes, some may say corrects the unilateralism of
Modernity, its very linear and in the end sometimes minimalist tendencies. Modernity is desperate for the purity of form but allows for the celebration of the naked self. Postmodernity, on the contrary, is gregarious to the point of embracing everything and its contrary. It is an attempt to seek openings, secret connections, forgotten pathways to the worlds of yesterday, and the broken-down barriers in the order of things and beings. Postmodern art is suggestive art. It is experimental art, experimental with a heart. It may have in mind the symphonic recreation of all things alive but in fact excels in smothering all things alive in and with
an over flowing sympathy and the deep craving for unity beyond and in spite of separation. Therefore, the title of this exhibit: Mary Alit in Postmodernity - bonding with ballerina and lion, flower pots and baby showers. And then, of course, there is the red thread. The beads which show up in each one of these challenging mini-sculptures. The rosary as a symbol of the link between all things alive? The rosary as a roadmap leading in and out of the intricacies of
Artist Melanie Weaver, MFA, has worked as a professional artist
for over fifteen years. Her scholarship includes installations that address
social issues. Weaver is currently a professor of art at Azusa Pacific University
in Azusa, California. Her love of teaching is communicated through classes
that focus on community as well as the course topic. Many of her classes
include a service learning component, where students teach art to foster
teens who are living in group homes.
Weaver has found that artistic expression can be a healing process. She understands art as ministry and art as a universal form of international expression. She has presented her art and art as healing in various exhibitions and venues such as the national convention of Christians in the Visual Arts in 2005. She is well versed in feminist art criticism and particularly studies women artists. Weaver is known for her work with fibers and embroidered prints. Her expertise has been called upon for techniques concerning Installation Art and the management of collaborative art installations.
Her teaching has included courses such as Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (ART 311), Women in Art (ART 359), Multicultural Art (ART 403), Sculptural Objects and Functional Art Processes (ART 411), Special Topics in Art (ART 495), and Humans and the Arts (HDEV 403)
Content and Concept: The objects I use in my assemblage work definitely
reference childhood and domestic life. I use objects such as plastic
army men, dolls, plastic flowers, gardening tools, jewelry boxes, and
cake decorations. The juxtaposition of these various objects creates
narratives that encompass childhood, war, domestic violence, trauma,
healing, spirituality, and blessing.
In the early years of this work (2001-2004), I definitely used
the work to find healing. The earliest pieces, from 2003-2004, have a
strong military presence. Pieces created in 2006 reference the army men
as nests, incubating life.
Interestingly enough, towards the end of 2009, as I made the work for
this show, I found that most of the pieces were blessings, dealing with
potential, gifting, and worth. The day-to-day activities of life have
become meaningful as representations of our purpose on earth. And
covering each person and activity is the blessing presence of Mary. She
brings peace to trauma, and meaning to mundane daily life. Her presence
is a significant part of the transformation of both my life and my art.
As I look at the representations of celebration, study, community,
family, and dedication, I find my own search for meaning and reason. As
a professor, professional artist, daughter, sister, aunt, and follower
of Christ (in reverse order of importance), I know that I have found
satisfaction in life, and its everyday rhythms. My hope for you is that
you would also enjoy the celebration.
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