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Chandler Gallery Current Exhibit

If You’re A Chair, I’m A Chair: Hilary Tait Norod

March 9 – 27, 2020

Reception: Thursday, March, 19, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

The heart of “If You’re a Chair, I’m a Chair,” the latest show at the Chandler Gallery, is a sculpture made of two antique wooden chairs. After cutting them down on their inner sides, artist Hilary Tait Norod bound them together with many layers of different materials, such as yarn, rope and scraps of wood, “to unite them as one.” The once-separate pieces became more than just a loveseat, but a representation of the artist’s marriage.

In her exhibition, which also includes painted mirrors and canvasses, Tait Norod set out to “explore the romantic tension of a loving relationship with an autobiographical and feminist lens.” It’s both about her own relationship as well as “gender roles and familial and societal expectations of partnership.”

The loveseat sculpture is intentionally somewhat of a visual mess. Scraps of fabric and string hang off its edges, while uneven stacks of books and empty paint cans support the legs. As untidy as its appearance may be, the structure seems solid. There is no evidence that the loveseat will collapse or fall apart. As a study of domestic partnership, it’s a powerful metaphor. The things that bring a couple together are never simple, and what sparks a relationship, as well as what a relationship overcomes, can create and strengthen bonds.

The title of the show, which is also the title of the sculpture, represents the two conversations Tait Norod hopes to foster in the work. Both the personal and romantic aspects of her own relationships and the larger concept of gender equity in modern relationships are topics that frequently inspire her.

“This is a theme that I have been working with for the past several years and will continue to work with,” she said. “There is a wealth of opportunities and areas to explore in the personal and cultural frictions of love and gender.”

“If You’re a Chair, I’m a Chair” is on display at the Chandler Gallery from March 9-27. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 19 from 6-8pm. The Chandler Gallery is a program under the umbrella of the Agassiz Baldwin Community, a private, non-profit organization that has provided quality programs and services in the Cambridge community for over 40 years. Agassiz Baldwin Community also manages Maud Morgan Arts, a full arts program of classes and workshops for all ages. Maud Morgan Arts works to reflect the diversity of talents of the community, bringing people together to make art, share art, and support visual arts education.