Artist Jessica Hargreaves Exhibits Allegorical Paintings at HVCC’s Teaching Gallery

November 28, 2022

Work by Artist Jessica Hargreaves

The Blindspot of an Old Dream, Paintings and Installation, opens Dec. 1

“The Blindspot of an Old Dream,” an exhibition of paintings and installation by New York City Artist Jessica Hargreaves, opens Thursday, Dec. 1, with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College. The reception, gallery hours and a subsequent artist’s talk (see below) are open free to the public. The Teaching Gallery is located in the Administration Building on the Troy campus.

Jessica Hargreaves’s paintings depict mundane, intimate and fraught human experiences through figurative and animal imagery placed in allegorical settings. Her style pays homage to familiar history paintings, but with added molded creatures – wild-eyed snakes, tigers, seahorses and dogs – bulging out of the canvas and meandering the gilded frame. A menagerie also permeates her decorative, yet disquieting toile wallpaper. Vladimir Putin, Oprah Winfrey, Ivanka Trump, Beyoncé and other recognizable figures populate her paintings that depict both fantastical and realistic settings, or an unsettling hybrid of both. Hargreaves states that her directness and technique “bring humanity’s convoluted and emotional landscape into high relief.”

“Girls At the End of the World,” Hargreaves’ most recent series, features visions of heroines that combine news accounts of disaster and environmental destruction with exaggerated (and humorous) scenes of female empowerment. Not surprisingly, the works blend art historical references to iconic works by Turner, Delacroix, Bruegel and Tiepolo with feminist cliches and stereotyped, comic superheroines.

Along with two other artists, Hargreaves co-directs Mother-in-Law's, an experimental, installation-based project space in Germantown (Columbia County). Other curatorial projects include 49.5, a 12-artist installation in 2020 at 601 Artspace in NYC. Since 2010, she has exhibited in numerous one-person and group exhibits throughout the greater NYC metropolitan area and beyond. Two posters she designed for the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC were acquired by the Museum of The City of New York.

Hargreaves was born and raised in London, and earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors in fashion and textile design at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London). After working in fashion and illustration in NYC, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She currently lives and works in NYC.

Hargreaves will discuss her work and career on Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Bulmer Telecommunications Auditorium at HVCC. The hour-long talk will begin at 3 p.m.

The Teaching Gallery hours are 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, and closed Sunday and Monday; admission is free. The exhibit spans HVCC’s holiday break and winter session, therefore the Teaching Gallery will be closed Dec. 17 through Jan. 16. For directions to the gallery and more information, visit www.hvcc.edu/teachinggallery.

Exhibitions in The Teaching Gallery are installed and assisted by students enrolled in Gallery Management courses and supported by the Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media, the Cultural Affairs Program and the HVCC Foundation. Associate Professor Tara Fracalossi is gallery director.

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