Monday, March 14, 2011

Betsy Odom: Sis Boom Bah

The Cleve Carney Gallery
Hyde Park Art Center
March 13 - June 19, 2011

Exhibition Reception:
Sunday, March 20, 3-5 pm

Artist Talk:
Sunday, May 22, 3-5 pm

Double whistles, flower-adorned baseball mitts, baby blue satin-lined football pads; these hybrid sporting accessories suggest the softer, prettier, and more ambiguously sexual side of organized competitive games. In Sis Boom Bah, Odom investigates the possibility of organized sports as a way to defy social constructions of gender, identity and sexuality.

Drawing from the tradition of extreme craft - or the mixing of craft techniques like leather tooling, airbrushing, and stitching with art formats of sculpture, painting or drawing - Odom produces objects that aim to subvert gender roles and question how we stereotype queer culture. This merging of Americana and contemporary issues, much like her re-appropriation of materials, is a way to question the phenomenon of sameness and difference that pervades American society. The work calls attention to the notion that women can move past their social boundaries and blur the lines defining gender expectations. Sport is an appropriate venue for this because, according to Odom, “no one is really watching in the big scheme of things, so women can behave in sometimes shockingly and inspiringly un-ladylike ways.” Odom presents us with organized sports as a realm in which gender defiance is encouraged and entertaining.

Betsy Odom completed a Master of Fine Art degree in Sculpture at Yale University School of Art and has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants. Her work has been exhibited across the US since 2001, and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at venues such as Rudolph Projects and Lawndale Art Center in Houston (TX), and Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas (TX). An exhibition of her work will be shown concurrently at ThreeWalls (Chicago) in May 2011. Betsy currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. More information on the artist can be found at

Image: Double Whistle, 2009, silver, felt, 6 × 2.5 × 2.5 inches

The Cleve Carney Gallery
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773-324-5520

M - T 10am to 8pm
F - S 10am to 5pm
Sun noon to 5pm

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