Geri Hahn’s “Still Living Out Loud” October 5, 2019 – October 22, 2019
Curated by Evonne M. Davis
October 5 – November 22, 2019
Opening Reception October 5, 7-10 PM
Gallery Aferro 73 Market St Newark NJ
People “come out” at different times in life, for different reasons revealing diverse secrets. Geri Hahn’s secret was that she was an artist. For the first 68 years of her life, none but family ever saw her drawings or her artwork. She is now a 74-year-old self-taught artist whose work is biomorphic, geometric and super-brightly colored. Hahn taught herself to work with fabric and thread, and now her art is created with hand-sewn and embroidered silk and linen with elements of shiny metallic floss.
The pieces exhibited represent three basic categories of pattern recognition: sounds, words, and emotions. Hahn’s ability to recognize patterns is enabled by her neurological hard wiring: She is a “synesthete.” Synesthesia is simply the human experience of when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time. Hahn “sees” every single sound she hears. Sounds are experienced as patterns of color, texture and concrete elements that exist in the physical world. Patterns in speech and emotions or feelings of her physical senses also serve as creative inspiration.
Yes, her secret is out, and she is still living out loud.
Eleta J. Caldwell and Rodney M. Gilbert Memorial Gallery
NJIT Features Prominent Female Artists in New Exhibition
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
The J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design (HCAD) gallery at NJIT is honored to present an exhibition of twelve prominent female artists. Six hail from the East Coast and six are from the West. Exhibition co-curators Matthew Gosser and Gail Enns selected artists whose work deals with the idea of domesticity in several ways. The first is in subject matter and how particular content or imagery speaks to domestic issues or themes. The second is material choice and how using something typically associated with home life, such as an appliance, lace doily or house robe, can express domesticity. Art-making techniques such as embroidery, basket weaving, and knitting are also explored. Artists conceptualize aspects of the domestic experience and find expression in their own personal artwork.
“The artists successfully illuminate and explore the perennial and existential struggles of women while they refrain from any obvious political agenda. Their work is about nostalgia and empathy, but it is also often jarring, arousing feelings of injustice, anger, grief and hope. However we choose to interpret the work, it is apparent that these artists place women’s “mundane” work on a level equal to that of men in the art world,” Enns explained. “It is also clear that their artistic consciousness is not simply a copy of their experiences — the process of going about their tasks in the home. Regardless of their extraordinary skills with sewing and stitching, with weaving or modeling and composition, what draws us back to experience the work over and over are the subconscious feelings they evoke. The New Domestics question our culturally accepted norms of feminine expression.”
“The New Domestics: East Coast/West Coast” opens to the public on Monday, October 7 from 6-9 p.m with a reception for the artists, live entertainment, food and drinks. The exhibition closes on Sunday, November 17 with an artist talk starting at 2 p.m.
HCAD Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with additional times by appointment only. It is located on the second floor of Weston Hall, NJIT campus (on the corner of MLK Blvd. and Warren St., Newark). For more information about the exhibition, please contact Matthew Gosser at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Mark and Geri Garden- He Prunes and I Plant”
One of the artists is Geri Hahn of Mountains Lakes, N.J., who took an alternate route to her work. “I’ve only been showing my work for five years. I’m now 74,” she explained. “People come out at various times in life for various reasons with their secrets, and my secret was that I am an artist. My background was in science. I was an environmental land use planner with a minor in forestry.”
Hahn said she learned to sew fabric by watching YouTube videos and practicing along. “I’ve been taken over by the sewing art demons. It’s been so much fun and well-received. It gave me focus and allowed me to kind of quiet myself from all the world,” she said. Her advice to students is to not wait as long as she did. “If you have something in your heart that’s just itchy-scritchy and creative and wants to come out, manifest it, go with it, give it a chance.”
Pamela Becker, Hunterdon County, N.J.: weaver and textile artist.
Elizabeth Kuny, Morristown, N.J.: quilt and textile artist. http://www.lizkuny.com
Lisa Sanders, Newark, N.J.: sculptor and textile artist. http://www.lisa-sanders.com
Wonju Seo, New York, N.Y. and N.J.: mixed media and textile artist. http://www.wonjuseo.format.com
Geri Hahn, Mountain Lakes, N.J.: digital and textile artist. http://www.gerihahn.com
Diane Savona, Passaic, N.J.: assemblage and textile artist. http://www.dianesavonaart.com
Susan Abbott Martin, Oakland, Calif: collage and textile artist.
Maria Porges, Oakland, Calif.: sculptor and author http://www.mariaporges.com
Judy Shintani, Half Moon Bay, Calif.: sculptor and installation artist. http://www.judyshintani.com
Lisa Soloman, Oakland, Calif.: sculptor and installation artist. http://www.lisasolomon.com
Temple Sisters, Sand City, Calif.: assemblage and mixed media artists.
Victoria May, Santa Cruz, Calif.: sculptor and installation artist. http://www.vicmay.com
The J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design (HCAD) is comprised of the School of Architecture and the School of Art + Design. HCAD offers undergraduate degrees in architecture, digital design, industrial design and interior design as well as graduate degrees in architecture, infrastructure planning, and urban systems. The Hillier College of Architecture and Design is a comprehensive design school located in a comprehensive research university. By studying design here, you will have ample opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas and interdisciplinary interaction.
“So What- Sew What” by Geri Hahn
At the request of WBGO Jazz radio, and the curation of Jo-El Lopez, the “So What” show on the 2nd floor at Gallery Aferro includes pieces by 10 artists, all of which have been inspired by the Miles Davis, Coltrane, Adderley composition “So What”.
My contribution is a hand sewn fabric piece which I titled “So What, Sew What”.
Please attend our opening October 5th from 7-10pm
My first Art Show in New York, NY
At age 72 I have been “discovered” as an Outsider Artist. Outsider’s work is in a “raw state, uncooked by cultural and artistic influences”.
I have always drawn, but for most of my life, I never saw myself as an artist. Artists went to art school, while I trained in Land Use Planning and Forestry. I pursued a lifetime of environmental and community activism and was mother to six children; being an artist was not part of my narrative. However, I decided to return to college at age 67, and there my story changed. I was studying music history at Ramapo College of New Jersey when, by accident, the college’s Gallery Director saw my portfolio of hand-sewn fabric collages, and promptly offered me a solo show. With that show, I gave myself permission to add the calling of the artist to my self-story; I have been answering that call ever since.
12″x12″ Mixed Media on Aluminum
June 22 – October 6, 2014
Living Out Loud – Exhibition of 34 Pieces, Ramapo College George T. Potter Library Gallery.