October 25, 2021
The Museum of Ventura County is excited to announce a new installation; Women’s Qualities by New York-based artist, Ghada Amer. Debuting on September 17, 2021, guests can continue to view the exhibit until January 7, 2022. The artwork can be viewed throughout historic Downtown Ventura (see below for detailed list of installations and locations). Women’s Qualities was originally commissioned for Desert X 2021 by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Co-curator César García-Alvarez and was installed at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage in the Coachella Valley.
Artist Ghada Amer describes the installation as a space of reflection and contemplation for both the artist and community, aesthetics, and ideology, as well as nature and culture. Amer asked men and women in the Coachella Valley to perform a self-portraiture practice of finding words to describe self-identifying qualities. The results were creatively transformed into an artistic creation of steel-framed planters in the shape of seven words, describing women’s qualities: Beautiful, Caring, Determined, Loving, Nurturing, Resilient, and Strong. The installation consists of a variety of live plants from California, Chile, and South Africa.
Women’s Qualities was graciously loaned courtesy of Amer and Desert X. The installation was a successful collaboration between the Museum of Ventura County, the City of Ventura, the Downtown Ventura Partners, and the Ventura Botanical Gardens. “The Museum is so thrilled to provide a second location for this powerful exhibit. In August of 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Museum of Ventura County board chair, Kate McLean contacted Desert X executive director Jenny Gil to explore a possible future collaboration. The response to this installation has been one of joy and inspiration,” says Denise Sindelar, Deputy Director of the Museum of Ventura County.
“Women’s Qualities could not arrive at a more appropriate time. We urge people to be bold, engage their sense of adventure and visit each of Ghada’s installations, not only to witness each distinct art piece but to embrace their purpose and meaning,” voiced Kevin Clerici, Executive Director of Downtown Ventura Partners.
“At the Ventura Botanical Gardens, “Resilient” resonates with our visitors. Not only that these unique planters are filled with nature’s beauty, but also that Ventura Botanical Gardens (and all of Ventura) have been through so much. Resilient captures perfectly where we are at right now,” states Joseph Cahill, Executive Director, Ventura Botanical Gardens.
RESILIENT is in the Ventura Botanical Gardens
LOVING is on E. Main St, near the Refill Shoppe
STRONG and CARING are in front of Ventura City Hall
BEAUTIFUL is on E. Main St, a block from City Hall
NURTURING is in front of the Museum of Ventura County
DETERMINED is in front of the E.P. Foster Library