Sept. 18–Oct. 17
Mothers of Invention
At Meibohm Fine Arts, 478 Main Street, East Aurora
If you believe the paraphrased adage, "Good things take a long time to make," then you’ll understand why it took artist Coni Minneci five years to complete a series of thirty-eight modestly scaled mixed media artworks honoring twenty-six women inventors. This superb series of works will be shown in its entirety at Meibohm Fine Arts in East Aurora from September 18 to October 17. A little background may be helpful. Minneci’s last major series of paintings, titled A-Z Women Artists, consisted of twenty-six small still life paintings, each designed as homage to a single woman artist at various levels of reknown. That series, which entailed rigorous research to appropriately convey the essence of the artists’ lives and work, also took five years to accomplish. Its high-minded purpose was to illuminate an under-recognized and under-documented segment of art history.
With this new series, charmingly titled Mothers of Invention: Real Women Who Rock, Minneci ups the ante. In addition to researching the women and their inventions, she challenged herself to incorporate multiple references to their inventions in the artworks and, in many cases, this involved actually using the materials they invented. The resulting artworks, hybrids of painting and assemblage, are thoughtfully conceived and expertly constructed. The first sentence in the journal/sketchbook she kept to develop ideas and document the series sums up her intent: "This series is meant to inspire young girls and women to solve problems." It’s a smart body of artworks that blends fact with ingenuity and succeeds on both counts.