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NORMAL — An exhibit showcasing 21 female artists whose works acknowledge women writers opens Tuesday in Illinois State University's University Galleries.

Titled "Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy," the exhibit takes its name from a sentence Sylvia Plath underlined in her copy of Virginia Woolf's "The Waves" and that Stephanie Brooks later appropriated for a text-based artwork. 

These multiple layers of meditation are part of the works featured in the ISU show, which runs through Dec. 18 following an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

All 21 artists selected are female in order to focus the interpretation of literature through the lenses of subsequent generations of artists, according to the galleries' senior curator, Kendra Paitz, who organized the show.

The works "demonstrate the political and creative progress of feminism, examine the writers' intellectual pursuits, navigate their status as literary icons and interpret their legacies."

The artists include Jen Bervin, Stephanie Brooks, Anne Collier, Bethany Collins, Moyra Davey, Marcelline Delbecq, Abigail DeVille, Eve Fowler, Dianna Frid, Coco Fusco, Sabina Ott, Melissa Pokorny, Dawn Roe, Kay Rosen, Carrie Schneider, Xaviera Simmons, Lisa Tan, Cecilia Vicuña, Catherine Wagner, Carrie Mae Weems and Deborah Willis.

Among the authors inspiring their works are Woolf, Plath, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Mary Shelley and Gertrude Stein.

Following Tuesday's opening reception, a number of special events are planned, including artist lectures by Bethany Collins at noon Wednesday and Jen Bervin at 4 p.m. Nov. 9.

As part of the exhibit, screenings of Dawn Roe's "The Sunshine Bores/The Daylights" will be on view Monday through Dec. 18 in ISU's Milner Library.

At 10 a.m. Nov. 2, a related storytelling activity for children will be offered in the galleries, with no registration required.

A symposium, "Oscillations of Genre and Gender," will be Nov. 9 through 12 on campus, followed by a symposium summary by artist Dianna Frid at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 12 in Milner Library.

A free related music performance by artist Cecilia Vicuna will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 10.

For a complete schedule of events, go to

Follow Dan Craft on Twitter: @pg_dcraft


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