Monday, September 13, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Hand to Hand at Chaffee Art Center in Rutland

The Chaffee Art Center invites you to join us in marking the historic beginning of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by visiting our Fall exhibit, The Hand to Hand Project. The exhibit will run from October 8 through November 20, 2010. The opening reception will take place on Friday, October 8, from 5-8 PM.

Working with nearly 200 artists, Cecelia Kane chronicles the events of the Iraq war since its inception in March 2003, when she began painting the day's news headlines on stuffed white cotton gloves, one for every day the war continued, except Sundays. She describes each glove as a " 'rosary bead' in this on-going, meditation of war witnessing."

Some express our collective horror at the violence, and some depict positive outcomes such as an AP photo of a Muslim woman joyously displaying an inked fingertip after voting in a democratic election: all reflect the role of journalism in mediating our reception of the historical events.

In January 2006 the artist expanded the project to include invited artists who each took on one week of Iraq War news to depict on a glove or hand related artwork in their own media and style.

196 national and international artists have contributed to Hand to Hand including 6 artists from Vermont. Kane has ended the project on August 31, 2010 to coincide with President Obama's pledge to withdraw combat troops from Iraq at that time. In its entirety the project will fill every exhibition room of the Chaffee Art Center including the staircase.

The artists hail from all across America and nine countries including a Contractor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stationed in Baghdad, a marine in the Gulf of Hormuz and two teenage refugee Iraqi sisters. There will be approximately 2,000 artworks ranging in media from video, animation and sound works, to glass, photography, painted, printed, embroidered and sculptural hands.

Written statements accompany the works, many of which commemorate the soldiers. A 400 page color catalog will be available for sale at the project's final showing at the Chaffee Art Center. The catalog printing is funded by grants from The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Idea Capital, and the Women's Caucus for Art, Georgia.

Hand to Hand has exhibited at 15 venues from coast to coast since its inception.