4024 editedThe Fluidity of Gender: Sculpture by Linda Stein 

From 2010 – 2022, The Fluidity of Gender traveled to 30 museums and universities around the country, including Flomenhaft Gallery in New York, the Holter Museum in Montana, Alexandria Museum in Louisiana, the Spiva Art Center in Missouri, Wenatchee Valley College in Washington, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, GCSU Museum in Georgia, Penn State and Muhlenberg in Pennsylvania.

The exhibition explored the continuum between the binaries of masculinity and femininity, while inspiring the compassion, empathy and bravery it takes to become an upstander rather than a bystander. HAWT asked people to re-invent and visualize bravery for themselves, to look at the armor they wear, the safety they seek. The artist said, “with my androgynous forms, I invite the viewer to seek out diversity in unpredictable ways, to ‘try on’ new personal avatars and self-definitions, knowing that every new experience changes the brain’s structure and inspires each of us to a more authentic self.”

For this exhibition, the artist lecture, called The Chance to be Brave, The Courage to Dare OR Slamming Gender Stereotypes, Crash! Boom! Bang! , was inspiring and fast-paced (half-hour plus Q&A), with more than a hundred video and still images to address issues concerning gender, oppression, bullying, strength, power and justice in contemporary culture. Stein used her experience being “duped” into appearing in the movie “Borat” and scenes from “30 Rock” as teaching moments against bigotry and bullying. 

Have Art: Will Travel! contacted participants local to each venue and asked them to create a body-swapping performance for the gallery reception. This consisted of a dance, skit, or poem, which addressed bravery and bigotry, masculinity and femininity. Performers donned wearable Stein sculptures and created new identities and storylines using verbal and body language.

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