Mary Perry Stone – Working For a Just World at the MAda Shell Gallery First Friday May 6th, 2011 5 -9 pm
Mary Perry Stone (1909-2007) was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) artist during the 1930’s. She worked as a sculptor and as a teacher in New York City. She was a part of the New York art scene in the 1930′s where she began to paint her “protest murals”, which would then become the vast majority of her work. She said once that she had never been interested in being commercial; she felt very lucky to have been able to paint what she wanted rather than having become a commercial artist.
Stone’s art has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibits in museums and galleries in New York, California, and Oregon. These include the Schneider Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, and Rockefeller Center. She was one of 40 women on the New York Federal Arts Project where her first assignment was teaching art to children in Harlem. Mary also did sculpture for the WPA, but the work that was not commissioned was seemingly tossed in the East River when the Project ended in the early 40s.
Today her Daughter Ramie Streng holds the Mary Perry Stone collection and has chosen work for the show that reflects the horrors of social injustice and the importance of the labor movement. She will also be donating two pieces of art by I.W.W. artist Van Wingerden for a silent auction to raise money for a Wobbly Free Speech Monument in the Siskiyous.
The gallery show is a part of a larger event organized by Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice (SOJWJ). First Friday May 6th, 2011 from 5 -9 on the Plaza in Ashland there will be reenactments of Wobbly speeches made 100 years ago, as well as protest music. SOJWJ is currently campaigning for a Wobbly Free Speech Monument in the Siskiyous which commemorates the 100 year anniversary of when railroad workers took to direct action and demanded workers rights. Facing hostile crowds, threats of violence, and blizzard conditions, these workers of conviction voluntarily crossed the Siskiyous on foot from Ashland into California to support their fellow workers in Fresno.
Mada Shell Gallery is located above the Plaza in Ashland Oregon at 27 1/2 N. Main.
For more information call Amy 541-482-2969