In response to the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, an Over-the-Rhine art gallery is set to host an exhibition featuring wearable art and jewelry meant to spark conversations about reproductive rights.
A photograph representing jewelry to be exhibited in the next contemporary art exhibition, Plan B artistic project, at the Ombré gallery shows a small red vase hanging from a woman’s neck. A stark black chain crisscrosses just above the crimson object while decorative pendants drape the piece eloquently.
The woman’s gaze is deeply deep and powerful, seemingly expressing disappointment or yearning. She wears the phrase and jewelry to draw attention to the current state of reproductive rights in the United States, a mission shared by the Plan B artistic project. This traveling and collaborative exhibition, curated by Shauna Burke, opens June 18 at Ombré Gallery in Over-the-Rhine. A percentage of profits will be donated to Planned Parenthood.
“She’s a vessel, a very feminine figure,” Jenna Shaifer, owner and director of Ombré Gallery, says of the photography. “It’s bright red, a symbol of life and also of death, a symbol of strength. It is powder coated over copper and sterling silver. The combination of the photograph and her wearing the coin is emblematic of the strength that women have and how we as mothers, as sisters of this earth, we have to take care of each other others. And if you don’t take care of the ship, we will all suffer the consequences. I project my feelings onto the piece and I’m sure anyone else looking at it will see something completely different. I think that’s what’s so wonderful about all this jewelry. Each piece will connect you to something and it comes from your own experience and your own journey.
The Plan B artistic project will showcase more than 40 contemporary artists and jewelry handmade in its Cincinnati slice, including pins, earrings, and necklaces. Coming from its Boston beginnings, the exhibit features wearable art inspired by current issues related to reproductive rights and health.
The recent leak of a draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court revealed the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, an action that could lead to the complete elimination of access to abortion care by every state. The imminent threat this may pose to all types of reproductive health care such as birth control (or, for example, Plan B One-Step emergency contraception) will also be questioned. In Ohio specifically, two “trigger bans” are being considered: House Bill 598 and Senate Bill 123. The projections state that residents of Ohio can only access abortion care if a physician deems the procedure “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant person or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of function.” major body”.
While Ombré has sold specific pieces to raise money for local nonprofits, this is the first time he will dedicate an entire exhibit to a national cause, Shaifer said. The Plan B artistic project promises that 25% of sales will be donated directly to Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio. As the works sell and travel, the exhibition will change and grow. The show in Boston raised $1,295 for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Cincinnati’s payout will be larger, providing the opportunity for an even larger donation.
“I think there’s been an upsurge in concern about what’s happening with reproductive rights in this country and their erosion,” Shaifer says. “Art is action and the way an artist takes action is to create and raise awareness of issues. My job is to show you what is happening in the world of contemporary art jewelry and what is important to society as a whole, what is happening and how it affects the arts. We see a number of organizations reacting at the time, this is one of those issues.
Burke, a goldsmith and assistant professor at the Pratt Institute, instructed each artist to include the symbol of an amphora bottle in their work (like the red vessel in the previously mentioned photo). Burke’s idea of using an ancient artifact such as the amphora to convey the message and connect the individual creations is more than symbolic.
An amphora, in its most basic state, is a jar with two vertical handles. It was discovered in the excavations of ancient Greece. Although its shape resembles the anatomy of a woman’s reproductive system, the artifacts were also found to contain abortive herbs and pharmaceuticals to terminate pregnancies.
“I think what’s interesting is that once we found out about this idea that there were actually herbs used to end pregnancies at the time, it’s not a new thing. in society,” says Shaifer. “A lot of artists have used flowers and herbs and different things in their work to make it look like that. So at first glance it seems very innocuous, but once you understand the concept you can see more depth what these coins mean.
Customers can expect various examples of jewelry design and craftsmanship. Everything from gold and silver to pearls and diamonds have been used in jewelers’ renditions. The Plan B artistic project shares Ombré’s mission to emphasize the diverse use of jewelry in its contemporary form, which means it shouldn’t just hang around your neck, it can also be hung on your wall or placed on a chest of drawers for a decorative touch. Some pieces even have removable facets and interactive aspects.
The Plan B artistic project runs until July 30. An opening reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, where Burke will be on hand to interact with guests. Online and in-store sales will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition, and prices range from approximately $75 to $3,000.
“We hope that not only are we selling work, but we also want people to start the conversations,” Shaifer says. “Talk to people they don’t normally talk to and educate them.”
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