Artist Talk: Friday, September 6 @ 5:30pm
Opening Reception, Open Artist Studios & Live Music: Friday, September 6, 5:30 – 8pm
Exhibition Runs: September 6 – 26, 2019
Plates Against Patriarchy (Helen Atkins, Jordyn Bernicke & Monique Rivera) is female organized pottery project that celebrates the resilience of women and endeavors to give voice to women’s stories.
By combining visual arts and storytelling, they create thought provoking pieces that speak to the everyday fight it is to be female. Women too often find themselves sharing stories of the objectification, misogyny, and sexism they experience. Rather than let these conversations remain unheard, Plates Against Patriarchy decided to utilize their collective skills and strength to create a platform to share their narratives. They wish to live in a world where women do not have to bond over their patriarchal horror stories. Their mission is to honor the lives of women, evoke empathy, and smash the patriarchy one plate at a time.
The Plates Against Patriarchy exhibition showcases portrait plates, narratives, and a collaborative installation honoring unsung women leaders. The Main Gallery showcases stories of over 30 women, alongside the portraits they inspired. In September 2018, the collective began collecting these stories, narratives, and photos of women across the nation via social media. Through a collaborative process, they created handmade porcelain plates honoring each woman and their experience.
While porcelain plates are often seen as delicate and fragile, they are actually fortified and strong. This project juxtaposes stereotypes of feminine identity with the reality of women’s experiences. Each piece is worked on by all three artists from the throwing, carving, and glazing. Through each step they work together and encourage one another, pushing their abilities and testing new techniques. This collaborative practice gives them the confidence to experiment and challenge themselves, resulting in pieces that are rich in process and spirit. Each plate will give voice to a woman, pairing her portrait with a phrase of her choosing that speaks to her experience in our patriarchal society.
The Front Gallery features women nominated by the community as matriarchs, whose work and lives exemplify the power of female leadership. In March 2019, the collective hosted a community glazing workshop at Harwood Art Center’s annual Encompass event. They invited community members to collaborate with them on the installation. Participants of all ages glazed images and messages inspired by the matriarchs of their lives.
One woman in particular, Dolores Cordova, was chosen as the focal point of this installation for her self-sacrificing work as a Nurse Practicioner at Clinica La Esperanza Clinic in the South Valley. In her nominating essay Stephanie Avila writes, “Dolores Cordova goes above and beyond to provide sensational care to Hispanic population and tries her damn best to never turn a patient in need of medical care away.”
About Plates Against Patriarchy
Plates Against Patriarchy is led by artists Helen Atkins, Jordyn Bernicke, and Monique Rivera. They are each skilled ceramicists who have worked on several public and community based art projects. Through a collaborative process, they create handmade pottery installations that speak to the importance of mutual female support. As artists and arts organizers, they are interested in engaging with their community to create dialogue focused on female experiences and issues of social justice. They are inspired by the strength and fluidity of clay, and they see it as a metaphor for the resilience of women.
What population on the planet holds the greatest potential to drive economic success and improve health outcomes? It is currently a population we limit and shame. It’s girls! We restrict their educations and chain them to early marriage. We shame them for having periods and shun them to goat sheds where they bleed alone. For her entire life, Christine Glidden has appreciated the intelligence, power, and grace that women add to the world. It’s a richness of spiritually, generosity and stealth that only women possess.
When she came to realize the magnitude of what we do to girls in the world, she became angry. Angrier than she had been when, like many women, she saw that her life had become littered with examples of gender inequality in schools, workplaces, and personal relationships.
(excerpt from Christine Glidden’s story submitted as a Matriarch nomination)
I have been a physician for 11 years. Everyday, after introducing myself as a physician, I get asked: “so when am I gonna see the doctor?”. I have been asked this by many patients, of all sexes, races and ages. I know I don’t look at the “classic” part, but I have grown tired of explaining to people that I am an emergency physician. I have grown tired of spewing forth my experience and credentials in the first few moments I meet my patients in order to make them feel comfortable. I don’t see my male colleagues routinely needing to do this. God forbid I wear makeup to work – these incidents double.
What I have to say to society is: “The way I look: It may not be what you expected, but it is what you need.” I am a proud woman in medicine. I am thankful for diversity of all types in medicine and in society, and I am thankful we can collectively chip away at the unconscious and conscious bias.
(excerpt from Erica Garcia’s story for the exhibition)
About The Artists
Helen Juliet Atkins is an interdisciplinary artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her BA in Studio Arts from the University of New Mexico in 2016. Atkins is a 2018 recipient of the inaugural Women & Creativity “Shine” Awards, honoring creative women and their work in their community. She was a featured artist for Burque Noir’s 2018 “Making Africa” opening event at the Albuquerque Museum. Atkins was the inaugural Mentoring Artist in Residence for ArtStreet a Program of Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless from 2017-18. She is a co-founder of Plates Against Patriarchy, a community engagement visual arts and storytelling project that challenges patriarchal systems of power. Atkins currently serves on the Albuquerque Museum Board of Trustees.
Jordyn Bernicke is an artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a minor in Arts Management from the University of New Mexico. She has lead workshops around the city, entailing community experience and the collaborative process. She is an experienced potter, illustrator and mosaic artist. Jordyn has had a number of shows around Albuquerque showcasing her ceramic and watercolor works and has done various public mosaic installations in the city. Her goal is to continue to provide therapy and self exploration with her community and those in need. Currently, she is the Programs & Outreach Coordinator for Harwood Art Center and a Teaching Artist for a number of different Harwood programs.
Monique Rivera is a ceramic artist born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She strives to find the unique balance between fragility and strength in the striking and functional porcelain pieces she creates. She references nature and life, combining glazes to create unique patterns and colors.
Read all the stories featured in Plates Against Patriarchy
Anyone who knows me knows I wear my hair up about 90% of the time. I wish this were because I was too busy to style it in the morning, or I hated the way it felt as it brushed against my face throughout the day. But it is not.
Marietta Benevento is a force to be reckoned with. She has worked in male-dominated fields for most of her life and pushed forward through any obstacle in her way.
Since elementary school, when boys would smack my ass playing touch football on the playground, I have learned to recognize when I am being objectified.
I’ve always felt the expectation that I needed to do or be more. I worked my ass off for more and didn’t measure up. I failed at doing and being more and it shattered me.
In 1972, one of my best friends through high school always came over to my house to do homework, etc., One day I asked her why couldn’t we go over to her house. She nonchalantly said, “Oh, my parents don’t allow Mexicans in their home.”
Dolores Jean Cordova is a phenomenal female Hispanic Family Nurse Practitioner who has been providing the Albuquerque community with amazing health care for several years.
My mother was a fierce woman. She grew up on a farm in a very small border town where she met my dad at age 7. He fell in love with her in the second grade and never let her go until she had to take a trip above the clouds.
As soon as I realized I was treated as less for being a woman, I decided I would fight on the same playing ground as the boys. This is why I turned my poetry into hardcore lyricism at the tender age of 11…
Being Dine, to me, means I have to live up to the women before me. Strong, Independent, Loving and Kind. I grew up with the mentality, “No boy is going to push me around.”
I think the idea of equality scares men and women. Some men don’t believe women can stand on the same platform they can, and some women feel that we should be grateful that we’ve “come so far.”
Leslie is one of the most dedicated college professors I have ever met. She fully embraces the mission of higher education, demanding intellectual curiosity, rigor, technological adaptation, critical thinking, and reflection of all her students.
People have been making comments about what I wear for as long as I can remember. They’ve said I need to dress more normal. More modest. Sexier.
I grew up feeling cheated by having been born a girl. I felt cheated by the Girl Scouts, who only offered macaroni crafts, songs comparing friends to precious metals, and an introduction to direct sales…
The best thing about being a woman, for me, is the ability to have babies. When I was pregnant I felt so special. I actually felt good.
I have been a physician for 11 years. Everyday, even after introducing myself as a physician, I get asked: “so when am I gonna see the doctor?”.
What population on the planet holds the greatest potential to drive economic success and improve health outcomes? It is currently a population we limit and shame.
Why is it my fault? When I think about that day and the events leading up to it, I still can’t see where I am the one at fault. I was 20 years old and had my fair share of encounters with strangers…
It’s Thursday night in Dallas Texas and it’s time to head to the “honkey tonk” bar. Thursday nights at a country dance hall bar are a good time. Thursday is the time to relax, grab a drink, and dance the night away. Usually.
Some imagine these colors for a baby shower. They probably see the happy pregnant woman popping a balloon to reveal the baby’s gender.
Ranny Levy founded the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media aka “KIDS FIRST” in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1991.
There have been a few occasions in my life where I have become victimized by domestic violence. I’ve seen it as a child and it always seemed to be so natural, I wondered if it was supposed to happen to the ladies in my pueblo.
The abuse I’ve suffered at the hands and minds of men is not what defines me. It’s my resiliency and resourcefulness. Reduced to rubble, again and again, has reified my foundation.
In college, I was raped twice. Feeling lonely and like I deserve everything bad that happened to me, I learned that love will always win and love will always conquer fear in the end.
I’ve wanted to be a mother my whole life. From the time I was much younger, I loved kids and parenthood was always on the list of things to do when I “grew up”.
I am a proud Latina born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Growing up in Albuquerque and having strong familial ties to Taos, I’ve been lucky enough to be immersed in my own culture.
Being a woman means looking over your shoulder; it means having to have eyes in the back of your head. One needs to have eyes darting at all times, to become a chameleon.
Angela “Gela” Narvaez Paz was born of humble beginnings on Aug. 17, 1927 to Alejandro and Rosario Narvaez. She grew up in San Marcial and San Antonio, New Mexico, before moving to Las Cruces.
These are some things that I have been telling myself a lot more these days. Things that I used to not believe and struggle with. For most of my life I have struggled with self-confidence.
One of the hardest problems is embracing your natural identity. Who I am is rooted the perception of myself, the people I befriend and how I exchange energy with others.
No. A word men seem to never understand. You didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Even though I was kicking and screaming no, you still threw me over your shoulder…
Growing up, I received conflicting views of women. I had heard how independent, strong and powerful women can be and I soaked that up like a sponge.
The shimmy and shakes syncopate with the flashing strobes of colorful lights and the hypnotic beats of music. Movements that vary with the desired visual translation.
I’ve been faceless, once poured with heavy metal to the point of no magneticity…dissociated by so many in society. Once a thief, a victim, a bearer too young to see these facets of societal realities.
Even though we had more good times than we did bad times, I can still only see the hateful and hurtful words when I look into his hazel eyes or when a smile starts to creep across his face.
As a child, I sometimes felt different for various reasons. One that caused me the most anxiety however became evident as my peers and I reached middle school age. When the topic of boys came up, I participated.
Growing up, I was the one to choose activities that were mostly “fitted” for the boys. To this day, even the career path I want to take on and the specialties that I have interest in has a majority of men. I started experiencing sexist comments at a very young age up until now.
My entire life I was taught to live in a way that a man would approve of or want. I was taught that if you please your man and do what he wants you will have him for forever.
Growing up, I was surrounded by sexism and toxic masculinity. I would see men around me behave this way, but was always told the phrase “boys will be boys.” For some odd reason, nobody would acknowledge this behavior, but I noticed.