GLASSBORO, N.J. – Commemorating the 45th anniversary of SOHO 20, the historically significant women’s cooperative gallery in New York, Rowan University Art Gallery presents Women Defining Themselves: The Original Artists of SOHO 20, an exhibition featuring works by the founding artist-members first shown at the gallery in the 1970s. The exhibit runs from May 4 –July 27, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 4 from 4 – 7 p.m.
SOHO 20 was based around the idea of “women defining themselves.” Members were chosen for their “professional excellence without restriction on style, medium, or theme.” With its founding as an expressly feminist gallery, it was on the leading edge of the women’s art movement of the 1970s. The Rowan exhibit revisits and contextualizes the breadth and depth of work by the original members.
The artists represented include Elena Borstein, Barbara Coleman, Maureen Connor, Mary Ann Gillies, Joan Glueckman, Eunice Golden, Marge Helenchild, Cynthia Mailman, Marion Ranyak, Rachel Rolon de Clet, Halina Rusak, Lucy Sallick, Morgan Sanders, Rosalind Shaffer, Sylvia Sleigh, Eileen Spikol, May Stevens, Suzanne Weisberg, and Sharon Wybrants.
Women Defining Themselves is curated by Andrew D. Hottle, Professor of Art History at Rowan University, who has written extensively on women in the visual arts. He is currently writing a detailed monograph on the art of Sylvia Sleigh and conducting research for a book about the founding members of SOHO 20. His publications include The Art of the Sister Chapel: Exemplary Women, Visionary Creators, and Feminist Collaboration (2014), Shirley Gorelick (1924-2000): Painter of Humanist Realism (2014), and a number of articles and essays.
Rowan University Art Gallery has a history of programming that recognizes the achievements of women in the visual arts. Important past group exhibitions include The Sister Chapel: An Essential Feminist Collaboration (2016), Groundbreaking: The Women of the Sylvia Sleigh Collection (2011), Between the Threads: A Feminist Guide to the Domestic (2016), and Enamored Armor (2018). The gallery has also hosted Better Than Ever: Women Figurative Artists of the ’70s Co-ops (2009), a traveling exhibition curated by Sharyn Finnegan. Recent solo exhibitions have featured Beverly Semmes (2011), Joyce Kozloff (2014) Jeanie Jaffe (2015), Diane Burko (2018), and Ebony G. Patterson (2019).
The gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Admission to the gallery, lecture, and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/artgallery.