The Rapidian

“The Portrayal of Women” a visual representation of women in advertising's past

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If you have ever had the privlidge of meeting Silk Screen Artist, Amy TenBarge, you know she is a firecracker. She received a Bachelors in Fine Art and Fine Art Education from Kendall College of Art and Design, continued on to finish her Master of Art Education, and for the past five years has been building herself to become a grade school art teacher.

Now finishing up graduate school, on Saturday, August 28, TenBarge had her coming out as a serious artist. She presented her first public art show, “The Portrayal of Women,” a visual representation of women in advertising during the 1950s and 1960s, exhibited at The Mustache Gallery. The multi-media pieces were mainly two dimensional silk screen, hand-cut spray painted mylar stencils, and hand painted acrylic. 

“This has been a learning experience”, Amy said.

She attempted her first piece on canvas and switched to oak plywood because it was a more stable surface to work with.  

Throughout the night, TenBarge sold eight out of the 11 pieces exhibited. Stephanie Strowbridge and Caroline Kampfschulte of Moxie Hair and Beauty Parlor transformed the cocktail servers into 1950s housewives to help set the mood of the evening. They served fifties style appetizers, wine and ice cold PBR. Moxie specializes in creating vintage looks from the 1920s to the 1960s. The show consisted of the body of work TenBarge has been consumed with for the past couple of years - a sneak peek of what is in store for ArtPrize 2010.  The exhibit will be installed at The First Congregational Church. TenBarge said she has finally found a happy balance between teaching and creating.

“ArtPrize is just another chance to build myself as a fine artist and share my passion with others," she said. 

Her work reflects women and their portrayal in advertising in the 1950's and 1960's. The portrayal of women during this period were clearly defined by the advertisements that filled magazines such as Ladies Home Journal and Home and Garden. Each piece shows a slightly different role that women played during this period. The imagery of these women are complimented by a series of backgrounds created with mixed media to resemble vintage fabrics, and wallpaper of the period. These designs are intentionally repetative much like the domestic roles that females played during this time. TenBarge said she is most influenced by the work of Shepard Fairey - combining elements of pop art, business art, appropriation art, and a little controversy.

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 This was one swank show, daddy-o.  For all of you hep-cats and cool chickadees wanting to see more of Amy's work, visit her at the Artprize site she has at Library St. 


I really liked what she is doing with the screen printing processes, and stencils. We are lucky to live in a city that has so many talented people doing crazy stuff like this.