The Midway Gallery Presents: She Bends: Women in Neon April 5, 2018 - June 2, 2018

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The Midway Gallery is pleased to present She Bends: Women in Neon, the largest, most inclusive all-female neon exhibition ever assembled. Curated by Bay Area neon artist Meryl Pataky She Bends features 32 artists who challenge convention.

The exhibition celebrates artists who have contributed to the resurgence of neon as an artistic medium and revival to the industry. 

She Bends positions neon as a loaded symbol of counter message to the historically male-dominated trade and contemporary forms of advertising, and enters a new dialogue on material investigation.

The Midway Gallery's presentation of She Bends follows its world premiere at Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles. A series of programs are presented including culinary and music events, with additional programs to be announced during the course of the exhibition. A general reception will be held on April 13th 6–9pm that is free and open to the public.

Each artist works intimately with neon, either bending the tubes herself, or by designing, installing and assembling the material with her own hands. Some of these women have their own neon shops or work in a shop; some share their knowledge through teaching the craft. 


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"The material of neon itself is heavy with historical overtones, the act of women repurposing this trade to convey messages about the female experience is in and of itself an act of rebellion—not to mention these women are wildly talented and their neon works are an absolute pleasure for the eyes."--Kelsey Issel, Arts Director at The Midway Gallery

Since the early 20th Century, neon bending has traditionally been a male dominated field. Originally known for its commercial applications, the process has been nearly replaced with the advent of LED lighting and new media forms of advertising. In recent years neon's revival has been spearheaded primarily by women artists and craftswomen—allowing for more impactful and layered messages to emanate from the glowing bars.

The material has also propelled new investigations in sculptural and light practices. Neon is now highly recognized for its conceptual content, potent in its potential to create statement, intervention, landscape and spectacle. Women's influence on the medium has proven to further its role as an artistic medium—thus prolonging its survival as a material and trade.
 

  

She Bends spotlights women working in neon while also underscoring the hand-made aspect of the practice.The exhibition title itself relays an action—that of bending. What starts as an act of skill progresses into a devoted lifestyle for the artists in this show and for all neon benders across the world. Among the 32 artists are several pioneers of both the trade and visual arts forefront including Lisa Schulte, Meryl Pataky, Olivia Steele and Shawna Peterson.

FEATURED ARTISTS
 

Sarah Blood |@sarah_blood |
Linda Bracey |@godsownjunkyard |
Dana Caputo |@danacaputo|
Anika Chasuk |@town.neon |
Robin Clason |@floralislands |
Eve DeHaan |@halfaroastchicken |
Linda Diec |@rindarindarinda |
Lily Erb | @lilywelderb |
Teresa Escobar |@terebomba|
Emma-Kate Hart |@neon.hart |
Michie Hongo |@michiehongo |
Eve Hoyt |@eveningneon|
Kate Hush |@katehush|
Danielle James |@d_j_neon|
Tory DiPietro |@torydipietro|
Ali Feeney |@ali_feeney|
Amy Palms
Koko Jamison |@studioglow|
Kacie Lees |@kacielees|
Stephanie Lifshutz |@stephanie_sara_lif|
Leticia Maldonado |@leticiamaria|
Lily Montgomery |@lilyreeves |
Meryl Pataky |@merylpataky|
Shawna Peterson |@petersonneon|
Linda Sue Price |@lindasueprice|
Roxy Rose |@neogirlneon|
Lisa Schulte |@theneonqueen|
Valerie Shusterov |@_foreverneon_
Olivia Steele |@steeleism|
Megan Stelljes |@meganstelljes|
Mary Voytek |@msvoytek|
Romily Alice Walden |@romilyalice|
Sydni Gause |@sydni_gause|



ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING
Salon Dinner: April 5th 6pm-9pm | $75 |
Break bread with the creatives behind She Bends. Hear artists, musicians, and chefs speak about their trade. Talk and eat with your hands, converse with strangers and friends. Bask in the neon light while satiating your belly and your mind. We are honored to have Azalina Eusope in the house as guest chef. Not only does this chef know about perseverance and passion, she is a veteran of Outside Lands and Bottlerock —so knows a little a thing or two about the confluence of music, art  food! Azalina is a member of the Mamak community from Penang, a historically rich island trading hub on the western coast of the Malaysian peninsula. As a 5th-generation street food vendor, Azalina found comfort in the flavors of Malaysian food while living abroad in several countries before landing in San Francisco, where she opened her own business in Twitter's Market Square.


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Opening reception with YACHT: April 7th  8pm - 12am | $24-30 | 
Awake your senses and immerse yourself in creativity. A night of art, music & culinary experiences. The evening features a live performance by Los Angeles-based dance-pop band YACHT.  Their critically-acclaimed See Mystery Lights was named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork and "Critic's Choice" by The New York Times.

On the release of their 2014 EP Where Does This Disco?, WIRED called YACHT "music not as a thing in itself, but the beginning of a chain of experiences which has no edge." Front woman Claire L Evans recently published her book Broad Band, which investigates the hidden history of the women who built the internet.


About The Midway Gallery
The Midway Gallery is an exhibition space uniquely positioned within a larger creative complex, that provides a stage for artists to cross disciplines, expand their process, and create large-scale installations that engage a broad audience.  www.themidwaygallery.com

About Meryl Pataky
Originally from South Florida, Pataky moved to San Francisco in 2002 to attend the Academy of Art University. She fell in love with the tactile nature of sculpture and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. An artist of many disciplines and mediums, Meryl focuses on the relationship between her own hands and material. Informing her material selection is a meditation on the elements of the periodic table from noble gases to metals and organics. She is aware of the history of her elements from their origins in the universe to their applications in culture and myth. The artist derives deeper meanings from these histories to add layers to her concepts. Both a personal and process driven narrative drive the work further forward. www.merylpataky.com

Preview dinner: April 5th
Opening night soiree: April 7th 
General Reception: April 13th 6–9pm

The largest neon exhibition featuring 32 women artists from around the globe. Curated by artist Meryl Pataky.

Programming: Salon Dinner: April 5th 6pm-9pm | Opening night soiree event with musical guest YACHT: April 7th  8pm - 12am | General Reception: April 13th 6–9pm | FREE and open to the public.

Much more programming to be announced during run of exhibition

Exhibition hours: Wednesday - Saturday 2 - 7PM 
The Midway Gallery | 900 Marin Street, San Francisco | www.themidwaygallery.com

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