Megan Kelso and Nikki McClure appear on Saturday, July 9th, 2011 from 6:00-9:00PM.
On Saturday, July 9th, the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery presents three women who found their voices during that Riot grrrl scene: Nikki McClure, Stella Marrs, and Megan Kelso. Fantagraphics Books Inc. recently reissued Kelso’s long-out-of-print book Queen of the Black Black, an early collection of work from her influential self-published comix zine, Girlhero. Original artwork from those stories, as well as original pieces from McClure and Marrs, will be on display alongside a collection of self-published comix and zines from the Riot grrrl movement. Kelso and McClure will discuss the lasting legacy of the Riot grrrls, followed by a book signing and informal reception.
Riot grrrl is mainly remembered for the loud rock bands that grew out of it, but as much as it was a musical movement, it was a visual arts and literary movement, too. Drawings, photographs, collages, comics, essays, stories and manifestos poured out from girls all over the country in the early ’90s in the form of self-published zines, mini-comics, handmade books, album art, and show posters. Girls who saw a show, found a flyer, or read the infamous article in Newsweek about “Riot grrrl” heard that name calling out to them specifically. Riot grrrl was a call to arms for young women trying to find their voices.
The work of Stella Marrs predates Riot grrrl, but as one of the design angels orbiting K Records, and as a publisher of multi-media postcards since the mid ’80s, her aesthetic defined the Olympia look as much as K Records defined its sound. Her sly, often humorous, images critique gender roles and consumer culture.
Nikki McClure and Megan Kelso were in the same year at The Evergreen State College, and both embarked on artistic careers after graduating. McClure’s images are made from black construction paper, cut with X-Acto blades into single, intricate pieces, mounted on white backgrounds. Her subject matter is people working in concert with the natural world.
Kelso’s comics echo both the themes and aesthetics of Marrs and McClure’s work – high contrast black-and-white images telling stories that grapple with issues of work, gender and human relationships.
The opening of “The Quiet Rrriot” on Saturday, July 9th coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.
The Quiet Rrriot: Visual Artists from the Riot Grrrl movement by Megan Kelso, Nikki McClure, Stella Marrs
Opening Saturday, July 9th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Artists talk with Megan Kelso and Nikki McClure at 7:00 PM followed by a book signing.
Exhibition continues through August 31, 2011
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.), Seattle, WA 98108