Virtual Artist Talk // Friday June 10, 1pm
Opening Reception // Saturday June 11, 1 to 4pm
About the exhibition
The art presented here all has one thing in common: it represents different facets of the American experience—pioneering, progressive, and sometimes problematic. As the playful title suggests, these artworks embrace the visual freedom of a doodle but without the crudeness that typically accompanies a rough sketch. Mostly works on paper, the materials are simple, but the topics explored are rich.
There are several literal interpretations of the United States that take the form of maps or flags. Unsurprisingly, red, white, and blue dominate, but splashes of purple, green, and yellow keep it interesting. You will also find recognizable symbols of America, like the requisite bald eagle and Captain America’s impenetrable shield, loosely painted against a white backdrop by artist Danny Thach. These images are certainly iconic, but only sometimes patriotic.
Through a historical lens, Sara Malpass’ ceramic text piece West seems to allude to the 19th century concept of “manifest destiny,” exploring the westward expanse. When paired with artworks celebrating car culture and speed, we are reminded of the incredible network of highways that today connects the two coasts. Is there anything more American than hitting the open road? Look for references to other American staples (capitalism, Hollywood, and rock’n’roll).
Portraits of famous Americans—from Rosa Parks to Michelle Obama—demonstrate the country’s slow but steady progress toward a more inclusive society. Still, there is much work to be done, and several artworks are blatant calls to action. They urge American citizens to vote, get vaccinated, and fight racism in their everyday lives.
The art shown in Beyond the Yankee Doodle celebrates our diverse communities, recognizes our complicated past, and acknowledges a need for continued change. What problems do we want to solve together as a community? It’s time to get started!
About the organizer
As Art Curator at Stanford Children's Health, Antonia believes in the power of art to heal and uses this passion to assemble art installations for the benefit of the hospital’s many patients, families, and staff. She has a master’s degree in Art History from the University of Toronto and over a decade of professional museum experience, working in managerial positions at museums like the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Kreeger Museum in Washington, DC. Appreciating accessible scholarship, she also enjoys research and has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, including African Arts, Interdisciplinary Humanities, and Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. In her free time, Antonia is on the board of directors at the NIAD Art Center.