The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art hosted two new show openings on August 17, marking the beginning of its 2020-2021 season.
In Kept to Myself, by visual artist Ashley Hairston Doughty, fiber art, illustration and text work to explore socioeconomic, racial and gender-based themes—and to introduce the local public to Doughty’s work.
The art of Kept to Myself is simultaneously vulnerable and jarring, with phrases like “U R a dimepiece,” “You gettin’ kinda fat” and “She talk like a white girl” emblazoned on the Barrick’s walls (all things the artist says have been said to her at some point in her life).
Doughty’s work articulates how she has navigated—and continues to navigate—the pressure to have children, as well as other existential issues, from the climate crisis to misogyny.
Barrick Museum executive director Alisha Kerlin calls Doughty an “excellent storyteller. Her voice is important,” Kerlin says. “[Her] work is very much about race and what it’s like to be a Black woman in contemporary society. It resonates now, it resonated before and it will resonate in the future, because it’s an ongoing struggle.”
Kept to Myself opens in partnership with the Womxn of Color Arts Festival. Founded by a Las Vegas artist collective, the WoCAF “highlights the work of local womxn artists who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).” The partnership will continue with a series of exhibitions and events running from January 2021 to August 2021.
Another show, Excerpts: Works From the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, offers a glimpse at the museum’s various collections. Held in the Barrick’s public trust, these works are usually wrapped and stored in the museum’s collection room, and many are on display together for the first time. The artwork is “housed here, cared for here and researched here at UNLV,” Kerlin says of an exhibit that features more than 35 works by artists from Nevada, including sculpture, paintings, ceramics and more and touches on themes like reflection, place, identity and memory.
“There’s a new relationship and meaning that’s formed by work that’s in proximity to a piece,” Kerlin says. “You put Wendy Kveck’s cake-eating woman [‘Munch’] next to Victoria Reynolds’ meticulously painted meat painting [‘Ruban Rouge’] and you might suddenly be thinking about abject subjects or consumption, whereas if those same pieces were next to something else, you might have a different feeling.”
Both new exhibits are open to the public with limited hours and capacity. An online collections database is available for viewers who prefer to engage with the art from the comfort and safety of their homes.
ASHLEY HAIRSTON DOUGHTY: KEPT TO MYSELF Through October 9.
EXCERPTS: WORKS FROM THE MARJORIE BARRICK MUSEUM OF ART Through December 18.
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free (limited to 30 people per hour). Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, unlv.edu/barrickmuseum.