Primaries for the national election punctuate politics in the United States with rhetoric ranging from how to reach for the brass ring of prosperity to stumping on national and global policy issues. In this climate, Attleboro Arts Museum director Mim Fawcett said that 75 percent of artwork that she is seeing from artists involves social commentary. That commentary has prompted “Take a Stand: Voices of the New England Sculptors Association.” From April 9 through May 8, the show will weigh in on Zeitgeist with sculptures plumbing topics such as environment, civil rights, racism, Roe vs. Wade, gender equality, gun violence and immigration.
Sculptor Ruth Rosner has two artworks in the show from her “Refugee Women” series, which comment on U.S. border enforcement. Disturbing to her are the ongoing herding practices reminiscent of the Holocaust. By phone, Rosner described her practice of always beginning her sculptures with the face. Her method is both tender and humanizing. She works additively to build form with found objects that coalesce into sculptures of ambient meaning. Rosner creates a balance between talisman and narrative. Her work bears witness to the power and endurance of the female spirit. It also reflects a career that has always been focused on non-violence as an issue. “The totemic women I sculpt evolve from remnants, shards, debris, discarded objects, evocative relics of the street” and explore “separation of children from parents …forced separations across history,” Rosner said. “The figures are voices raised to embrace child and parent, to heal rupture, to reconstruct family.”