PULLMAN, Wash. — The Compton Union Gallery at Washington State University opens its spring exhibition season with a fun and thought-provoking installation “The Spilled Bag.”
The display, produced by locals Brenda Congdon-Power and Anna-Maria Shannon, and Beryl Striewski of Houston, will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Jan. 13-31 (closed on Jan. 20).
The artists describe the exhibit as “dedicated to women and the inner-sanctum of the handbag: a dark, secret space, at once loved and reviled by the women who carry them, and just as jumbled and full as women (bags!) are themselves.” The exhibit includes photographs, video interviews, and a shrine to the handbag and purses on loan from their owners, complete with jumbled and revealing contents.
The creators will present an Art Ã¡ la Carte roundtable discussion at 12:10 p.m. Jan. 30 in the CUB’s Cascade Room 123. The Spilled Bag will provide insight into their quirky approach to visualization and collaboration. They also will be available during the noon hour on Jan. 31 to discuss their work with gallery visitors.
Congdon-Power graduated from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) with a degree in creative writing. After moving to Houston, she became involved in scriptwriting, video production and direction. For nine years, she operated her own business, Write Eye Productions, developing video programs, CD-ROM adventure games for children and documentaries on families coping with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Awards won for her work include the Women in the Director’s Chair from the Chicago Film and Video Festival Showcase, a Bronze Apple from the National Educational Media Network of Oakland, Calif., and Cinema in Industry Silver Awards in Atlanta. Since moving to Pullman, she has been writing freelance articles, conducting art workshops for the public schools and served as docent, now docent coordinator, at the WSU Museum of Art.
Shannon spent eight years in the Air Force before graduating from the University of Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in art history. She moved with her family to Jackson Hole, Wyo., to run the family gallery and a computer business. When the family relocated to the Palouse region, she jumped into community activities. Shannon was a member of the Albion Town Council, served on the board for the Friends of Gladish, chaired the Whitman County Library Board of Trustees, coordinated children’s activities for the National Lentil Festival, and was a volunteer librarian and docent coordinator for the WSU Museum of Art. She is assistant director of the museum, continues to help with the Lentil Festival and creates jeweled works of art in her spare time.
Striewski received a master’s degree in art from East Texas State University before opening a commercial photography business in Houston. Her assignments typically include portraits, but she shoots many types of pictures. She has photographed for such clients as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Continental Airlines, the University of Houston, and Texas Monthly magazine. Striewski likes to incorporate metaphors and concepts into her personal photography projects and views her work for the Spilled Bag exhibit as a metaphor for the various stages in a woman’s life.
The exhibit is funded in part by the Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee.