Arvada Center embraces Pink Progression

Celebrating 100 years of suffrage for women

Some artworks reference historical moments.
Photo: Trevor Leach · The Sentry

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment passing into law, which ensured the right to vote for women in the United States, Pink Progression: Collaborations fills a chasmic void in representation of feminine identities at major art institutions. As the title suggests, all the works in the exhibition came about through collaborations between members of Pink Progression, a local artist collective focused on gender issues, and other artists who identify as women.

While some of the artworks directly reference that historical moment 100 years ago, many others address more personal and collective experiences. Upon entering the main space, a porcelain corset takes the spotlight. Floating above an off-white cloth skirt, The Ties that Bind conjures a ghostly image. According to the statement by artists Tya Alisa Anthony and Kim Putnam, they sought to convey “the shared experiences between women who are racially different.” As a relic of the repressive Victorian era, the corset symbolizes the “restrictive way our society and culture have always viewed women throughout history.” Images on the white glazing of the corset collaged from mass media look back on depictions of women from previous eras. Black and white figures serve to contrast each other, as well as pictures of the housewife stereotype perpetuated by corporate media in the 1950s and 1960s alongside women protesting for the right to vote.  

Several faculty from CU Denver have pieces on display, including a mixed media installation made by College of Arts & Media (CAM) professors Rian Kerrane and Melissa Furness as well as an eerily beautiful composition by Sammy Lee and CAM professor Megan Gafford. Port of Gilded Proclivities by Furness and Kerrane takes inspiration from “Semiotics of the Kitchen,” in which the artist Martha Rosler acted out the use of kitchen utensils alphabetically from A to Z. Furness painted these objects with oil on a circular cut canvas, while Kerrane constructed a trampoline to hold the canvas with an assemblage of bronze, iron, and steel. Around the edge of the frame, a ring of letters forms the words of the cardinal directions (North, East, South, and West) as well as the words “Happily Ever After” and “Once Upon a Time” to critique fairytale narratives. A video projected on the wall behind it gives the illusion of objects bouncing on the trampoline in slow motion. 

Memories of Daegu, or Mamabot–Ms Daegu by Lee and Gafford combines a series of detailed graphite drawings with the skin-like appearance of hanji mulberry paper molded around the edges of their frames. Conceptually, this work brings together their connections with South Korea and the city of Daegu, “exploring themes of home and family” and the complexities of memory according to their statement. 

The Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities set up a reservation system and check-in process upon arrival. For those who feel comfortable enough to venture into a public space, the exhibition is free of charge and the galleries spacious. Signs posted around the building remind visitors to remain socially distant, and the galleries also have several hand-sanitizing stations. Pink Progression: Collaborations remains on display until Nov. 8, 2020. 

This is a selection from the September 02 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *