• Sharing Circles: Carol Newhouse and the WomanShare Collective
    Carol Newhouse
    Daniel Marcus and Carmen Winant
    Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus
    Sep 16, 2022 to Dec 30, 2022
    Wexner Center for the Arts

Carol Newhouse, Scrapbook page, 1974. Mixed media. Courtesy the artist

The Wexner Center for the Arts (Wex) presents the first exhibition featuring the photographic work and archives of trailblazing artist Carol Newhouse, who documented the women’s back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s. The exhibition contributes to research in the fields of feminist and LGBTQ+ art, architecture, and design history, bringing greater awareness to the collective space WomanShare, a lesbian intentional community in the Pacific Northwest cofounded by Newhouse that explored the possibilities of nonhierarchical living and building outside of patriarchal norms. This presentation, which includes a new, temporary architectural structure based on historical designs from the ‘70s, furthers the Wex’s commitment to exploring the built environment and new ways of living—ever more relevant during an isolating pandemic. The exhibition, events, and publication are intended to spark dialogue about rural life, communalism, and our own spaces.

Artist Carol Newhouse was a founding member of the WomanShare Collective and a key contributor to the lesbian photography movement of the 1970s and ‘80s. Her photographs have been published in Amazon Quarterly, The Blatant Image, WomanSpirit, and A Women’s Carpentry Book (ed. Jeanne Tetrault, Doubleday, 1980), among other periodicals of the Women’s Liberation and LGBTQ+ movements. Together with Sue Deevy, Nelly Kaufer, Billie Miracle, and Dian Wagner, she coauthored Country Lesbians: The Story of the WomanShare Collective (Grants Pass, 1976). Newhouse holds the degree of Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a field in which she has practiced for more than 30 years, and was the founding teacher of the Lesbian Buddhist Sangha in Berkeley. She lives in Walnut Creek, California.

Daniel Marcus is associate curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts and assistant professor of practice in history of art at The Ohio State University. He recently curated a major research-based exhibition, To Begin, Again: A Prehistory of the Wex, 1968–89, on view at the Wex in winter/spring 2022. He was previously the inaugural Roy Lichtenstein Curatorial Fellow at the Columbus Museum of Art, where he cocurated the widely acclaimed exhibition Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989, which began its tour in 2019 in New York City. Marcus has written widely on the politics of gender in modern and contemporary art, including contributions to the exhibition catalogues Nicole Eisenman: Dark Light (Secession, Vienna, 2017) and Amy Sillman: One Lump or Two (ICA Boston, 2014). His essay “Body Image: On the Art of Hannah Wilke” was featured in Artforum in January 2022.

Carmen Winant is an artist and the Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art at Ohio State; her work utilizes installation and collage strategies to examine feminist modes of survival and revolt. Winant's recent projects have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture Center, Wexner Center of the Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, and as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival, which mounted 26 of her billboards across Canada. Upcoming projects will take place at ICA Boston, the Print Center (Philadelphia), and Minneapolis Institute of Art. Winant's recent artist’s books include My Birth (SPBH Editions, 2018), Notes on Fundamental Joy (Printed Matter, 2019), and Instructional Photography: Learning How To Live Now (SPBH Editions, 2021).

A Wex curatorial research associate, Raechel Root is a PhD student in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Oregon, where her research explores contemporary art, design, and visual culture that addresses issues of spatial and environmental justice. She is the coauthor of an essay on gardening as an artistic practice, featured in the forthcoming edited volume Making-Do in Urbanism and the Arts. Her critical writing on the photography of lesbian land communities in Oregon has appeared in Hyperallergic and Oregon Humanities, and she is the cofounder of Topozone, a collaborative research group focusing on the intersection of visual culture and the geographic. She has also coorganized the conferences Aesthetics of Gentrification and Making-Do in Urbanism and the Arts.

Kelly Kivland is chief curator and director of exhibitions at the Wex, where she is setting the vision and strategy for the exhibitions program and working cross-departmentally to foster multidisciplinary projects at the Wex. Previously, she worked at the Dia Art Foundation in New York as a curator, organizing projects with such artists as Isabel Lewis, Steve Paxton, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Maren Hassinger, and Joan Jonas. At Dia, she also oversaw partnerships to steward two permanent works of Land Art that are part of Dia's collection: Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Kivland has served as a juror, lecturer, guest critic, and panelist in the United States and abroad.

Founded in 1989, the Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State University’s multidisciplinary laboratory for contemporary art and culture. Through exhibitions, performances, screenings, educational programs, artist residencies, and publications, the Wex serves as a vital forum where artists test ideas and where diverse audiences engage in the art and issues of our time. Our work affirms the university’s pursuit of civic participation, freedom of expression, and robust dialogue.