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Vanessa Viruet


January 22–March 5, 2022

New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art at University of Southern Indiana is proud to present PAÑUELXS by Chicago-based artist Vanessa Viruet. PAÑUELXS includes textile works and sculpture in the main gallery space, as well as a temporary public art piece in New Harmony’s Maclure Square. The exhibition opens on Saturday, January 22, 2022 and runs through Saturday, March 5, 2022. Gallery hours are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Central, Tuesday – Saturday. COVID safety procedures will be required, including masks and social distancing, in accordance with University of Southern Indiana policy.

ARTIST'S TALK March 5, 2022. 3pm CT

PUBLIC RECEPTION March 5, 2022. 4-6pm CT

Vanessa Viruet utilizes materials such as bandanas, hoop earrings, cars, and found objects to investigate gender roles, cultural identity, and socioeconomic experiences. In PAÑUELXS, large-scale installations, printed fabric, shiny objects, and repetitive patterns using bold shapes and colors serve as symbols—or “flags”—to share both communal and personal stories.

PAÑUELXS (a play on the Spanish word for “hanky”) explores the various ways in which we present ourselves. Utilizing the gallery’s exhibition space as the hyper-feminine “interior space” and an outdoor site-specific installation as a hyper-masculine “public space,” Viruet flamboyantly displays expressions of identity. While creating a shared space that speaks to community experience, PAÑUELXS is also a space to celebrate Viruet’s own experience as Queer, Latina, and a first-generation college graduate.

Vanessa Viruet is a Chicago-based fiber artist of Puerto Rican descent. She creates monumental scale artworks to examine the complex histories rooted in textiles such as identity, cultural heritage, gender, and class. Viruet holds a BFA and a MA in Teaching from the Maryland Institute College of Art as well as an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She currently serves as an art instructor for Chicago Public Schools and teaches in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Someday she hopes to have her own scholarship for artists of color.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.