Gallery Director: Cory Weeks
Curator: Lauren O’Connell




Artlink A. E. England Gallery: October 1 – October 25, 2010

Opening Reception: October 1, 6-10 PM
(7 PM Conversation with the artist and curator)
Closing Reception: October 15, 6-9 PM
(7 PM Discussion with the artist)

Artist and ASU Assistant Professor of Art Forrest Solis unveils her newest body of paintings in a solo exhibition this October at the Artlink A.E. England Gallery in Phoenix. Curated by Lauren O’Connell, a curatorial staff member at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Solis’ exhibition titled Acting Out: Prescribed Lessons toys with identity and gender roles, while revealing the old-fashioned gender lessons dictated and gleaned in our youth. Her artistic process for the series begins with flat, cartoonish texts and illustrations from antiquated children’s lesson books. Their outdated messages with ‘instructions’ such as, “While girls should train themselves, as soon as they can, to do all sorts of housework, boys can learn to drive in nails, and do all sorts of carpenter work deftly.” From that point, Solis fragments the picture plane with two realities by contrasting the children’s storybook elements against the painted classically rendered self-portraiture, mimicking the pictured stereotypes with modern-day feminine identity. “The graphic images are bright and sweet, but combined with the text and the figure they underlie a darker more complex message,” Solis explains. “Through self-portraiture I strive to understand and make sense of numerous personal and political contradictions. With this I play many roles: the child, the adolescent, the young adult, the woman and the mother. The time and space is psychological; it is formed of broken childhood memories and adult desires where the past, present and future collide.”

Curator Lauren O’Connell elaborated,“While her content might push some to rationalize the traditionally accepted roles they see, Solis is asking the viewer to act out and step into the painting—mentally and visually—to locate their own identity.”