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These Mirrors are Not Boxes

June 6 – July 12, 2015│ VisArts │ Rockville, MD


Amy Hughes Braden Milana Braslavsky Anna U Davis Nora Howell Annette Isham Lisa Noble

About the VisArts Emerging Curator Program: The VisArts Emerging Curator Program pairs an emerging curator with an experienced mentoring curator. The program is funded by the Windgate Foundation. Laura Roulet is the 2015 Mentoring Curator. Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell is the first emerging curator in the VisArts Emerging Curator Program. As part of the yearlong experience, Bryant-Greenwell and Roulet will curate exhibitions and develop programming. “This is a fantastic learning opportunity,” says VisArts Gallery Director and Curator Susan Main. “It broadens the field of curatorial voices and offers outstanding exhibitions of contemporary art in our galleries.”

curatorial statement

These Mirrors are Not Boxes examines the complexities of contemporary identity through the work of six local female artists: Amy Hughes Braden, Milana Braslavsky, Anna U Davis, Nora Howell, Annette Isham, and Lisa Noble. Mirrors of ourselves are often not available on checkbox forms of designated identity categories. Individually the artists contend with issues of categorization, pliability, empathy, and domesticity. Together through a sociocultural lens they contend with issues of marginalization in its myriad mainstream forms. Moments of present day are juxtaposed with fragments of memory and lucid dreams. Disparate aesthetics reveal hidden similarities in themes of calamity and misperception. In juxtaposition the works harness the power of experimental dialogue of which only art can provide. These Mirrors are Not Boxes explores the surprising, alternative, even subversive means and ways identity is formed, presented, confronted, and challenged when marginalized personas are brought out of the fringes. Curated by 2015 VisArts Emerging Curator Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell.


Press Release: These Mirrors Are Not Boxes

Washington Post, “In the galleries: Anything but simplicity in these drawings


We asked visitors, via comment cards, to tell us about their experiences with marginalization, and here’s what they said:

“I hate checkboxes. I always read between the lines.”

“Generalizations do not accurately reflect a person.”

“Marginalization is everywhere. I’m a black female. That should be a positive thing. But the negativity of marginalization defines the only statistical relevance of my identity.”

“My first instinct is to discuss my gender as a source of marginalization … My identity keeps changing, as I feel different everyday.”

“If my identity were to be summed up in a single box, that box would be ‘Human’.”

“The complexities that make up a person are boxes themselves.”

“The variety that makes me, me is contradictory in nature.”

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