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When the personal is political 

Art Rise’s latest juried show sticks up for reproductive rights

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IN TODAY’S political climate, women wage a daily war over their own rights.

From affordable birth control to safe abortions and everything in between, our reproductive health rights are slowly being rescinded. Planned Parenthood, one of our greatest resources, is threatened daily with being defunded, which would leave many without any options for healthcare.

That’s why it’s crucial, now more than ever, for us to fight for what we deserve.

The Personal is Political is a juried show presented by Art Rise Savannah in partnership with Planned Parenthood Southeast and opens March 9 at Non-Fiction Gallery.

The show was juried by Brenda Poku, Amanda York, and Connect’s own Jessica Leigh Lebos and features a whopping 35 artists’ work.

The Personal is Political runs concurrently with feminist artist Niki Johnson’s Hills & Valleys exhibition, and the presence of both exhibitions in Non-Fiction Gallery proves that we are strongest in numbers.

“This show is super important to me because not only is it one of the biggest collaborations we’ve ever done, but because we are showing our open support for what’s going on in our country,” says Julie Miller, house/marketing coordinator at Non-Fiction Gallery. “Most of us have been thrust into a very political standing just by merely existing, and it’s incredibly important that we stay as visible as possible. This show is contributing to that.”

The art in The Personal is Political is challenging because we rarely see this side of femininity. Monika Izing’s photograph “Blood” is just that, a blood splatter on the floor, which feels like we’ve walked in on something private. Even though blood is part of every female’s life, menstruation is something we don’t discuss publicly, much less photograph.

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That feeling of self-censorship and privacy is the reason that The Personal is Political is so important—we should never feel too ashamed to discuss our own bodies. Much of the art in the show seeks to tear down that notion and spur conversation about things that have always been too taboo.

Some of the art deals with consent and lack thereof. Kathleen Greco’s “Resistance” is a photo of a human tangled in bedsheets trying to pull away, a heartbreaking implication of rape.

This show isn’t just about the ladies— men are also represented because men also benefit from Planned Parenthood and affordable reproductive care. Joan L. Brown’s photographs capture men acting more feminine, like embracing each other and wearing makeup.

Bree Lamb’s photograph “Squeeze” shows the aftermath of squeezing a grapefruit into a juicer. The use of fruit as a metaphor for vaginas has always been beautifully simple, and this photograph is no different.

Preserving our reproductive rights is as easy as standing up for them, and this show artistically does just that.

cs

"The Personal is Political" is a juried show presented by Art Rise Savannah in partnership with Planned Parenthood Southeast and opens March 9 at Non-Fiction Gallery. A panel discussion will be held Sat., March 11 at 2 p.m. at the gallery.

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Connect Today 04.29.2017

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