Beyond Power: A Celebration

group show

Beyond Power: A Celebration

An exhibition of art by Northern California Women

March 11 – April 5, 1987

Opening Reception: March 15, 1987, 2:00 – 5:00 PM

This juried exhibition was co-sponsored by the Women’s Caucus for Art and Southern Exposure. The exhibition jury consisted of Dr. Judith Bethlehem, Rena Bransten, Eleanor Dickinson, and Jo Hanson. A printed catalog acompanied the exhibition, with essays by Rena Bransten, Jo Hanson, and Rebecca Solnit, among others.

From the catalog foreword by Lenda Anders Barth:
"Beyond Power – A Celebration is about art – and it is about power. Art can have power; it can affect and influence those who experience it. Some use art to gain power and to be powerful, and some display art as a symbol of their success (i.e. power). But, fundamentally, art is neither an agent nor a symbol of power. Art is the expression of the individual human being. ... When Marilyn French wrote about going 'beyond power,' she stressed the need to understand that power is not something to be won and held onto. 'Power is a process, a dynamic interaction.' Change will not occur because women wrest power away from men. Change will occur because each of us realizes, 'if we want a different future, we will have to create it. No one will do this for us.'

"In 1984, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented The Human Condition, curated by Henry Hopkins, the director of the museum. Of the 60 artists in the show, only 12 were women. The inclusion of the work of so many male artists as compared to femals artists was cause for anger in some visitors to the museum. ... Because the stated theme of this show was 'the human condition,' the under-representation of the female viewpoint was particularly irksome.

"Beyond Power – A Celebration arose from this and from similar feelings in many people, women and men, who recognize that a story only half told leaves much to be learned. Beyond Power – A Celebration is based in art, but it is also a forum from which to examine why things are as they are and what is to be done. The production of the exhibitions, symposium, and catalogue associated with Beyond Power – A Celebration is, of course, in itself, doing something. Perhaps this is why it is a celebration. We can create change."

Additional satellite exhibitions concurrent with the main exhibition at Southern Exposure were arranged and curated by members of the Women's Caucus for Art:
A Woman's View: Beyond Power, curated by Sheila Bilich, Arts Council of San Mateo County, Belmont
Introducing Bay Area Artists, curated by Dorothe Barlett, The Barlett Gallery, Pleasanton
Point of View: Women Portrayed, curated by Sandra Beard and Barbara Leventhal-Stern, Sunnyvale Creative Arts Center Gallery
Faculty Women Artists, City College of San Francisco Gallery
The Obligation to Electricity, mOdm Artworks, Crockett
Forms in Space, Sun Gallery, Hayward
At Risk, 1870 Gallery, Belmont
Recent Work, Colorbox Gallery, San Francisco
California Images, Pacific Grove Art Center
Urban Landscapes, The Oakland Museum Rental Gallery
Bookworks, Seaside City Hall Art Gallery