Kristi Hager, a photographer and painter with an MFA from the University of Wisconsin and years of experience as a professor in art departments around the U.S., presents her latest work including one of her great grandmother from the 1880s in 'Equal: A Work in Progress' that opened last weekend in Anaconda.
"I was thinking of the long struggle to get equal rights for a lot of people, not just women," says Hager.
The Equal Rights Act was first introduced to Congress in 1923 and in 1972 was approved by the Senate and sent to the the states for ratification to become an Amendment to the Constitution but fell short of votes. "I thought the ERA would become a law in my lifetime, but it continues to be a work in progress."
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Hager created 15 large-scale portraits on translucent fabric that are suspended from the gallery walls. They flutter gently and project visages from both sides creating an interactive element to the work.
"I wanted to do them at a size where the viewer has to look them in the eye. Not so much for confrontation but to have a direct gaze at this human being," says Hager.
Inspiration for the show comes from women "in her world" who are friends and family of all ages and from all time periods and there is a portrait of one well-known woman: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
"I've never met her but over the years I've followed her work," says Hager.
With the exception of Justice Ginsburg, the show isn't about celebrities or famous women, but it is about women she knows who are working to overcome adversity.
Hager will give a talk about her work on Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. and the show is open now through Oct. 20 at the Stoplight Art, a gallery located adjacent to Smelter City Brewing in Anaconda.