Artist Elizabeth Alley says that the title of the show she's curating, "This Art Has Cooties," came from a joke between her and a friend. The friend told Alley that he could never hang her art in his home because it was too feminine. Alley replied, "Oh, does it have cooties?"
"This Art Has Cooties" opens Friday at Marshall Arts and features the work of 15 local artists, including Alley, Mel Spillman, Lisa Tribo, and Mary Jo Karimnia.
Alley says there's no hard-and-fast criteria to measure a work's femininity, but she says she does see patterns, such as, well, patterns. Feminine art depicts women and children or focuses in on textiles. The works may be small, suggesting intimacy, Alley says, giving as an example Chandler Pritchett's small watercolors. "It's like peeking into her memory," Alley says.
For "Cooties," Pritchett is doing a series of self-portrait watercolors — one for each year of her life. Jennifer Sargent is showing drawings and weaving work. Mary K vanGeisen is doing a series of paper works that are shaped like shopping bags with images of family photos on the outside of the bag and writing on the inside of the bag.
"It's people whose work I want to see," says Alley of the group. "And it's a show I want to be in."