Virginia Fitzgerald “Black Widow Sculpture” chickenwire, VCR tape

On First Friday, June 3, Carver Hill Gallery, in Rockland will open “FEMMetonymy”, a show featuring Maryjean Viano Crowe, Virginia Fitzgerald and Lesia Sochor.FEMMetonymy is a show of three women artists using clothing as a vehicle to challenge convention, tell a story, express an opinion, and elicit an emotional response.

Virginia Fitzgerald’s work includes three dimensional installation pieces and collage. She says of her work, “The dress is my symbol for our essential being, our core. Using this emblem, my work speaks about the power and the politics of relationships – our relationship to ourselves, to each other and to the world in which we live. The work speaks to the emotional, or lack of emotional, connection between people. The dress form denotes the body – how we relate to our own bodies and how we relate to others bodies; it further examines how we cover and present our bodies and how that veneer affects all of our experiences and encounters. I deal with the ideas of fertility, fragility, strength, waste, war, imprisonment and freedom. My work invites viewers to reconsider their place in our society and culture, and to question the status quo. This project is very relevant to the current issues being debated today, and the dress is my soapbox from where I can engage in political debate and consider social protocol.”

Mj Viano Crowe “Intuitions of Spirit,” collage, 48”x36”

Mj Viano Crowe’s art resolves as installations, photographic assemblages, light box shrines, artist books, cut paper and mixed media paintings. “At the center of many of my large-scale, mixed media pieces in The FEMININE DIVINE series are powerful female figures surrounded by nature. In “Arise/The Gathering Storm” a woman of foreign origin tests the waters, while waves break in the distance.  In “Intuitions of the Spirit” a Madonna-faced woman with trees in her hair embraces her own spirit, as planetary symbols orbit about, encircling cosmic and earthly elements.  In “Eve’s Garden” a woman of universal ethnicity cradles a tree to her bosom, shielding a decaying world of insects and animals within her ample skirt.”

Lesia Sochor, “Little Black Dress” 36”x22,” oil on collaged sewing pattern

In 2007, Lesia Sochor found inspiration in her mother-in-law’s sewing drawer. “I was reminded how sewing connected me to my female ancestors. The unassuming spool of thread, full of meaningful purpose, is a powerful icon whose history chronicles stories of necessity, practicality, fashion, poverty and sweat. From one generation to the next it stirs personal recollections and family stories. The image sparked dozens of oil paintings, both literal and metaphorical. This series of loose thread – and spools of thread – eventually evolved into the ‘Bodice’ paintings, torso pieces in oil on sewing paper. I further continued my exploration creating the ‘Body Language’ pieces, where the whole body was painted. This ongoing theme of women, sewing, and fashion continues. From the ordinary to the flamboyant, the clothes we wear and how we wear them can define and reinvent us. The daily ritual of creating an impression can reveal our occupation, age, origin, social class, politics (sexual and otherwise), personality and beliefs. I continue to use sewing pattern paper as the surface upon which I paint, allowing the language, instructional text, and markings to remain visible.”

FEMMetonymy opens on First Friday, June 3, 2016 from 5 – 8 PM and runs through June 28. See for more information

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