Facing Contemporary Issues from Gwenda Joyce

Facing Contemporary Issues is a juried exhibit of artwork in various media that addresses significant social and political issues today--curated by Gwenda Joyce.

The show was intended to be exhibited at the Tides Galleries in the Presidio, San Francisco in April and May 2020. The coronavirus pandemic postponed the exhibition until further notice and I am happy to make it available online.

The exhibit is in 3 parts and would be exhibited in 3 gallery spaces. It includes two one-person shows and a group presentation of ten additional artists.

In “Strength and Fragility” artist Megan Segre uses unconventional and re-purposed materials that often have no structural basis, such as insulation foam and deteriorating recycled objects. Needing wire and thread to be held together, Segre’s sculptural jackets embody memories, offer warmth and comfort, and reveal our depth of care. Her jackets are both multi-layered and transparent. Segre’s work is a reminder that no one lives on this earth alone.

In her art, Segre puts the human condition on display. She shapes and stitches forms together from materials without foundation in order to explore how materiality, or the lack thereof, communicate both these qualities. Her jackets are stitched and woven together to bring form to something that is full of holes. Through her work, Segre exposes the thin veil between strength and fragility we all experience at some point in our lives. Her jackets are a metaphor for humanity.

Megan Segre is a sculptor and installation artist based in San Francisco. In 2018 she received an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Segre is a member of the Tenderloin Mending Society in San Francisco where she performs sewing and mending services for those in need. This is her first one-person exhibit.

Joan Schulze’s newest collaged and layered fabric works are on exhibit. To make her art, Schulze transfers images onto the fabric, lines it with batting, adds a layer of plastic tape and stitches it together. This innovated process reflects the layers of experience and meaning that is embedded into her art.

Joan Schulze’s cotton, silk and tape-strip quilted artworks are part of the series, “The Winter of Loss.” These artworks which were created before, during and after the time of her husband’s battle with dementia and his subsequent death. The themes in her artwork have a direct relationship the slow unraveling of their lives during that time.

The year leading up to his death and the year after were surprisingly productive for Schulze. During frequent walks in the garden while contending with his decline and tending to his care, Schulze noted the similarity of the entangled reeds and branches to her and her husband’s long-term relationship. Engaging in her art-making became a spiritual exercise focused on the daily changes of the plant life she observed and her husband’s life. These strands became the inspiration for her series of “Brain Tangles” in the exhibit.

Joan Schulze is a highly-regarded artist with years of international exhibitions to her credit including China, Australia and Portugal. In 2017 she was named the Council of 100 Artist of the Year by the Fresno Art Museum and honored with a one-person exhibit. Her work is included in 18 museum collections. She is based in San Francisco.

Also on view are +10 Contemporary Artists whose artwork addresses Contemporary Social Issues. Selected paintings, photography and sculpture deepen the examination of contemporary issues of social issues investigated by Segre and Schulze.

The artwork was selected by curator Gwenda Joyce and covers a range of topics, such as gender identity, drug addiction, transgender transformation, homelessness, abortion, women and the Supreme Court, aging, gun violence, climate change, environmental degradation and more. The participating artists are from California and the eastern US:


Kiley Ames – Los Angeles CA—Gender Identity
Susan Bercu – Santa Rosa CA—Drug Addiction
Richard Dweck – Menlo Park CA—Environmental Degradation
Lou Eberhard – New York NY—Transgender Identity
Paul Ford – Sonoma CA--Homelessness
Stacey Gregory – Salinas CA-- Abortion, Women and the Supreme Court
No Punching Bags – Winston – Salem NC—Gun Violence
Roz Ritter – Richmond CA--Aging and Female Identity
Christine So – Oakland CA—American Gun Violence and Climate Change
Deirdre Weinberg – San Francisco CA—Environmental Degradation

The Curator, Gwenda Joyce: Gwenda Joyce has curated numerous exhibitions for exhibition in museums and galleries, including approximately 10 exhibits per year for 20 years at her Chicago gallery, Gwenda Jay Gallery. Joyce curated first museum exhibition was in 1993 at the Rockford Museum in Rockford, IL. Titled, “The Re-Invention of Classicism, it featured 8 female artists whose stylistic expression harkened back to classical forms of painting and contributed to a re-invention of contemporary painting. Her most recent galleries, including approximately 10 exhibits per year for 20 years at her Chicago gallery, Gwenda Jay Gallery. Joyce curated exhibition, “Earth Air Fire Water: Balancing on the Edge” is on exhibit at the Grand Theater Center for the Arts in Tracy, CA. Gwenda Joyce is a former gallery owner in Chicago and curated ten exhibitions of contemporary art at her gallery each year for over 20 years. She currently works as a curator and agent for artists.



Gwenda lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For inquiries, contact gwenda@artambassador.net

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