Josephine Tota: A Visionary Rochester Artist
Come enjoy an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery, The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota. Curator Jessica Marten will share the life and art of Rochester artist, Josephine Tota (1910–1996). Tota was a seamstress and amateur artist who lived a conventional life among the Italian immigrant community in Rochester, New York. Her awakening to intensely personal subject matter and her discovery of the medium of egg tempera in her early seventies allowed Tota to tap into the stream of her extraordinary creative energy. Over the course of a decade, she channeled her dreams and a lifetime of memories into harrowing, self-referential images. Painting in the privacy of her home, she imbued over 90 small jewel-like paintings with the richness of her unique imagination. Tota’s impressive body of work—made in the privacy of the artist’s Rochester apartment during the 1980s and almost lost to history—will make its debut at MAG on July 15th and is featured in a catalog published by RIT Press.
Jessica Marten is the Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester where she has worked since 2001. In her curatorial practice, Jessica is particularly interested in exploring the work of marginalized artists and in excavating their stories from our shared history. Her recent acquisitions reflect her interest in broadening the diversity of the permanent collection, including work by Elizabeth Catlett, Yayoi Kusama, Kehinde Wiley, Wayne Higby, and Judith Schaechter. Her recent work has included Art for the People: Carl W. Peters and the Rochester WPA Murals (2015) and The Power of the Female Gaze (2017), organized in honor of New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial.
- Wednesday, July 11, 2018
- 6:30pm - 8:00pm
- Central - Rundel Arts Room
- Central Library