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Library Exhibitions by Artists-in-Residence
Wednesday, July 24, 2019,
6–8 pm
Free with RSVP
Bard Graduate Center Library
38 West 86th Street, New York City

Come celebrate our two exhibition interventions created by library artists-in-residence, JoAnne McFarland and Rachel Selekman!

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In January 2019, Bard Graduate Center Library welcomed visual artists JoAnne McFarland and Rachel Selekman as the 2019 artists-in-residence. The BGC Library AIR program invites artists to conduct research in our unique collection as a way to inspire new work and to consider the role of the library and the research process in their practice. To mark the end of their residency, each artist has intervened in a section of the library, converting study alcoves into exhibition space to show new work they have created out of their research discoveries. 

JoAnne McFarland: Queen For a Day

The works in Queen For a Day reflect McFarland’s belief that shame, and chasing wealth to ward off shame, dominate today’s cultural and political landscapes. The works on view illustrate the countless ways American culture reinforces white patriarchy, for women as well as men. Queen for a Day reflects McFarland’s fascination with how many women collude in systems that ensure they remain second-class citizens regardless of the luxuries they amass in order to feel less vulnerable. 


Rachel Selekman: Shield 

Rachel Selekman makes sculptures that address women’s lives using quotidian objects, fabric, and mixed media. Dismayed by the current attacks on women’s rights, and conversely buoyed by the courageous women coming forward in the #metoo movement, as well as those running for — and winning — political office, Selekman has started a series of sculptural shields to both protect women and assert their strength. The first from the series, “Face Shield 1 (ERA),” along with a selection of books and objects that inspired her during her library residency, will be on view.

This site-specific installation will be up through the end of August. After July 24, you must make an appointment for viewing; please email to schedule a visit.


About the Artists

JoAnne McFarland is a poet, painter, and curator from Brooklyn. She is the former Exhibitions Director of A.I.R. Gallery and the founder of Artpoetica, a project space in Gowanus Brooklyn that links literary and visual expression. Her latest poetry collection, Identifying the Body, was published in 2018 by The Word Works. Her artwork is part of many public and private collections, including the Library of Congress and the Columbus Museum of Art. In her practice McFarland treats violence and creativity as diametrically opposed: each act of making thwarts violence’s aim to destroy. Visit her website:

Rachel Selekman is a visual artist based in Brooklyn. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Rosemont College in Rosemont, PA, and group exhibitions at the Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn; Marc Straus Gallery, NYC; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin; Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC; to name a few. Selekman’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Microsoft, the US State Department, and Montefiore Medical Center. Commissioned pieces can be found at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Her catalogue, Rachel Selekman: Making Connections, which surveys her sculpture and works on paper, was published in 2014. Selekman received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a full-tuition scholarship. Visit her website: