Body Politic by Christa Carleton and Tonja Torgerson
September 30, 2022 through November 19, 2022
Bodies have always been a point of control, debate, and controversy within our society. Body Politic presents a series of collaborative prints by Christa Carleton and Tonja Torgerson, all focused on political themes associated with the figurative nude. Using letterpress, screenprint, and woodcut, these prints reference broadsides and use the impact of print-media to destabilize current ideas on gender roles and our bodies. "Our prints resist outdated mindsets about performing femininity and question widespread notions about the role and standing of female-expressing people," say the artists. "With our collaborative project Body Politic, we contribute our perspectives to a vast commentary set forth by our predecessors in intersectional feminism, and raise our voices in support of inclusive change."
Mailing these prints back and forth from Indiana to Montana, the artists are responding to one another and these topics layer by layer, building a dialogue across the country and within each print. Stark, nude figures are combined with bold, aggressive text that challenge the expectations which are put upon them.
Body Politic is being presented at the Cummings Center as part of the 2022 Mid America Print Council Biennial Conference, hosted by Kent State University. This year's conference theme, "The Power of Print Resistance, Revolution, & Resilience," explores the cultural relevance of printmaking. The mission of this conference is to leverage print media's historical role in multiples, distributed art, protest art, and popular culture, to generate an event that is timely and broadly relevant both culturally and artistically.
Tonja Torgerson and Christa Carleton would like to thank The Puffin Foundation and the Ascent Bank Artist Grant through the Holter Museum of Art for their support of this project.
About the Artists:
Tonja Torgerson received her BFA from the University of Minnesota and MFA in Printmaking at Syracuse University. Her artwork is regularly exhibited nationally and internationally and is in several museum collections, such as the Weisman Art Museum and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Torgerson has been a resident artist at West Virginia Wesleyan College, the Lawrence Arts Center, Fogo Island, Artist Image Resource of Pittsburgh, and New York Mills, Minnesota. She is a Lecturer of Printmaking at Indiana University.
Christa Carleton received her BFA from Western Colorado University and MFA in Printmaking from Montana State University. Christa works regularly in screenprint and woodcut, but letterpress is where her loyalties lie. She is currently a screenprint technician at a textile printing business in Missoula, MT and pursues her artistic practice on top of her full time job. While being an artist is a huge part of her identity it isn't her only love. Christa enjoys cooking vegetarian food, gardening, hiking with her dog, and listening to podcasts.
About the Mid America Print Council:
The Mid America Print Council is an educational and community-based organization that focuses on all print related arts. Embracing both time-honored and innovative approaches, we promote awareness and appreciation of traditional and contemporary forms of printmaking. We are an inclusive association for individuals and institutions, administering the sharing of technical and critical information regarding print. Honoring our predecessors, we aim to bring new and sustained interest to this unique medium. Active on multiple platforms, MAPC is an organization that provides members with access to a network of printmakers, resources, opportunities, newsletters, and a biennial conference that features speakers, workshops, panels, shows, and exchanges. Through calls for participation, we organize members’ exhibitions and publish The Mid America Print Council Journal. Our goal is to recognize, advocate, and continue research in historical, current, and future print technologies. Learn more at midamericaprintcouncil.org.
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