Trustman Art Gallery

Love’s Labors

Beth Balliro, Monica Bock, Cynthia Newsome

March 26-April 26, 2012

Opening Reception:
March 29, 5-7 pm

Simmons University presents “Love’s Labors,” from March 26 – April 26, at the Simmons University Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor in the Main College Building, 300 The Fenway, in Boston. A reception will be held Thursday, March 29, from 5 – 7 p.m. (snow date is April 5) with a Q & A with artists at 5:30 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The subject of love has been a driver of humankind’s cultural production across the centuries. Among the many types of love is the strong attachment between a mother and her children. The three artists in Love’s Labors—Beth Balliro, Monica Bock and Cynthia Newsome are all mothers, whose love, duty and joy as mothers fuels the engine of their creativity. Their maternal experiences are the subject for work that explores the mystery of pregnancy, the connections of love, the repetition of daily tasks and the icky messes that little bodies generate.

In her Agent Aria work, Beth Balliro reaches across generations. Using her recently deceased father’s service blanket from Vietnam, she fashions a new purpose for this symbol of a dangerous time. She felts new yarn into the blanket, infusing the softness of his relationship with his first two grandchildren, arriving at a new, more ductile fabric. Her gorgeously vibrant, abstract gouache and ink works are celebrations of her changing body as a mother.

Monica Bock’s amazing collection of lunch bags fashioned from soft lead sheets march around the gallery and up the walls, a testament to the work and love of packing daily lunches for two children. Each of the bags in Don’t Forget the Lunches is stamped with the day’s menu and child’s name. The Trustman Gallery installation exhibits almost one hundred of the original 418 lead lunch bags.

Cynthia Newsome presents both photos and video. Her large scale grid installation of 4” x 4” cropped views of the efflux from bruises, colds and candy consumption are repulsive, yet texturally enticing. She also, with humor, shows more beguiling activities in her large-scale diptychs. Her videos vibrate in tune to the early feminist video artist, Martha Rosler.

One asks, how does a single person manage all of these tasks? Love’s Labors is about the unstinting love, yet real work of motherhood, which isn’t always pretty. For these three artists, maternal chores and feelings are a wellspring of artistic production.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.