Bren Ahearn
Thread of Masculinity
pink_break_flower

Artist Statement

I use textile crafts to explore masculinity’s conflicting messages, and I typically use the cross stitch ABC sampler form to document how I’ve been educated to be a man in US society. (Years ago embroidery was part of a girl’s educational process, and during times when girls were not afforded a formal education, girls actually learned the ABCs by stitching them onto cloth. These embroidery samplers demonstrated a girl’s skill and the fact that she was of the leisure class, among other things.)

In my latest series of cross stitch samplers, I recall actual experiences when I exhibited risky behavior, and I document a violent parallel history in which I was not so lucky. Additionally, I am exploring my work history.

 

CV

  • Solo Exhibits
    • Strategies for Survival. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA, USA, June 10, 2016-January 15, 2017.
    • Black and Blue. Sacramento Temporary Contemporary Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA, September 12-29, 2013.
    • An Early Sampling. Alumni Hall Gallery, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA, February 1-August 1, 2013. Curators: Sharon Bliss and Mark Johnson.
    • Thread of Masculinity, v. 2.0. Ridley Gallery, Sierra College, Rocklin, CA, USA, October 17-November 4, 2011. Curators: James Devore and Johnnie Terry.
    • Manmade. Evolve the Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA, June 9-25, 2011 (extended to July 9, 2011). Curators: Brady and Michelle Blakeley.
  • Selected Reviews of Shows and Work (Contact me for a full list)
  • Selected Press (Contact me for a full list)
  • Interviews
  • Selected Presentations/Panels (Contact me for a full list)
    • Artist Talk: Bren Ahearn. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA, USA, November 4, 2016.
    • Tour + Talk: Bren Ahearn. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA, USA, June 11, 2016.
    • Beyond the Surface Show Walkthrough. San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA, USA, January 10, 2016.
    • Queering our World Artists Panel, in conjunction with affiliated Queering our World Conference. Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, USA, November 7, 2015.
    • OUT/Break Show Walkthrough. Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, USA, March 3, 2015.
    • LGBT Art: Our Common Wealth Show Walkthrough. Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA, USA, July 29, 2014.
    • Crafty Queers, v 4.0. Sierra College, Rocklin, CA, USA, November 7, 2013.
    • Men's Work Show Artists Panel. Box Factory, San Francisco, CA, USA, November 6, 2011. Moderator: Tina Takemoto.
    • State Of Community - Art, Politics & Community Panel. Underground Books, Sacramento, CA, USA, September 26, 2011.
    • Manmade Show Walkthrough. Evolve the Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA, June 11, 2011.
    • Emerging Artists. Panelist, Reinvention Conference sponsored by Studio Art Quilts Associates and Surface Design Association, San Francisco, CA, USA, March 20, 2010. Moderator: Vic De La Rosa.
  • Selected Group Exhibits (Contact me for a full list)
    • Feminist Fiber Art Traveling Exhibit. Virago Gallery, Seatle, WA, USA, April 1-30, 2017. Curator: Iris Nectar.
    • Social Fabric/Moral Fiber. Gallery West, Grant Campus of Suffolk County Community College, Brentwood, NY, USA, February 14-March 30, 2017. Curators: Leila Daw and Michaelann Tostanoski (catalog: pp. 4, 6).
    • (De) Constructing Identity. Greenly Gallery, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, USA, November 4-December 5, 2016. Curator: David Kube.
    • QIY (Queer-It-Yourself) Expo and Faire. SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA, USA, June 5-24, 2016.
    • Beyond the Surface. San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA, USA, January 6-February 28, 2016. Curator: Deborah Corsini.
    • Queering our World. Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, USA, October 6-November 6, 2015. Curator: Dave Kube.
    • Terra Infirma: All Things Unsettled. GearBox Gallery, Oakland, CA, USA, July 30-August 22, 2015. Curator: Chandra Cerrito.
    • 10th Annual Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show. Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA. May 15-July 11, 2015. Jurors: Catherine Johnson-Roehr, Garry Milius, Betsy Stirratt, Jeremy Sweet.
    • OUT/Break. Sarah Silberman Art Gallery, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, USA, March 3-April 3, 2015. Curators: Robin Meyer and Molly Nuzzo.
    • Needle's Eye. Contemporary Embroidery. National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway, February 21, 2015-May 16, 2015. Curators: Anne Kjellberg (Oslo), Knut Bull (Oslo).
    • Needle's Eye. Contemporary Embroidery. Kode, Art Museums of Bergen, Bergen Norway, October 10, 2014-January 4, 2015. Curators: Frode Sanvik (Bergen), Anne Britt Ylvisaaker (Bergen) (catalog: pp. 48-49).
    • Manly Men, Girly Girls and Everybody in Between: Expressions of the Sex/Gender Continuum in the Arts. Northern Illinois University Art Museum, DeKalb, IL, USA, August 26-November 15, 2014. Curators: Josephine Burke, Heather Green, Peter Olson.
    • LGBT Art: Our Common Wealth. Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA, USA, July 23-September 19, 2014. Curator: Pamela Peniston.
    • Scythia 10. Local Lore Museum, Kherson, Ukraine, June 18-28, 2014. Curators: Ludmila Egorova and Andrew Schneider (catalog: p. 10).
    • Fibremen 3. Local Lore Museum, Kherson, Ukraine, October 23-November 5, 2013. Curator: Ludmila Egorova (catalog: pp. 6-9).
    • Strange Bedfellows. Root Division, San Francisco, CA, USA. June 5-29, 2013. Curator: Amy Cancelmo (catalog: pp. 2-3).
    • Zeitgeist. SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA, USA. June 1-30, 2013. Curators: Jacqueline Francis, Josh Faught, Jordy Jones, Rudy Lemcke, Matt McKinley, Pam Peniston, Tina Takemoto.
    • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show 2013. Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA. May 17-July 13, 2013. Jurors: Nan Brewer, Catherine Johnson-Roehr, Betsy Stirratt.
    • Crocker-Kingsley. Blue Line Gallery, Roseville, CA, USA. November 17, 2012-January 5, 2013. Curator: Michael Duncan.
    • The End. Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA. July 14-July 28, 2012. Curators: Gioia Fonda and Ianna Frisby.
    • Pop-up Museum of Queer History – Philadelphia. William Way Community Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA, April 21-May 19, 2012. Curators: Buzz Slutzky et al.
    • Behind the Mask: Women, Men & Masculinities. Loranger Art and Architecture Center, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI, USA and LeBel Art Gallery, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada. February 27-March 10, 2012. Curators: Libby Balter Blume, Ph.D., C.F.L.E. and Allegra Pitera.
    • EMERGE: The Next Generation of Masters. Evolve the Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA, November 11-28, 2010. Curators: Brady and Michelle Blakeley.
    • From the Tongue. Lotus Salon/34 North Moore Exhibition Space, New York, NY, USA, June 24-August 6, 2010. Curator: Joetta Maue.
    • Drawing in Thread: Contemporary Embroidery. The Gallery at Mt. Ida College, Newton, MA, USA, March 30-May 2, 2010. Curators: Kathleen Driscoll, John Tricomi (catalog: p. 3).
    • Birmingham Queer Open, Birmingham, England, November 3-6, 2009. Curators: David Viney et al.
    • Design Shibori, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France, October 27-November 8, 2008 (catalog: pp. 22-23).
    • Immediate Future: The 2008 Murphy & Cadogan Fellowships in the Fine Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA, September 6-October 18, 2008. Curators: Dana Hemenway and Meg Shiffler.
    • The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, Globalization, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco, CA, USA, February 15-April 27, 2008. Curator: Amy Winter, Ph.D.
    • Handymen and Girly Boys: Masculinity, Craft, and Culture, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, USA, April 27-August 18, 2007. Curator: Maria Buszek.
    • Nancy Boy, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA, USA, January 25-March 20, 2005. Curator: Nancy Mizuno Elliott.
  • Awards
    • First Place Award for Sampler #11, Politically Charged Show, 2014. Curator: Shelly Willis, Director, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
    • SFSU Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Achievement, 2010.
    • Leo D. Stillwell Award, 2009.
    • Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts (Sponsor: San Francisco Foundation), 2008.
    • CNCH Scholarship, 2005.
  • Education
    • San Francisco State University (SFSU), San Francisco, CA, USA Master of Fine Arts in Textiles, 2010
    • Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA, USA Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, 1991
    • University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and College of Arts and Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, USA Bachelor of Science in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in English, 1986