Exhibition dates: June 4 – August 31, 2019
Gallery Bergen, West Hall 329

Gallery Bergen is proud to announce the opening of its summer exhibition, “On the Mend,” an installation by Hackensack-based artist Lauren Bettini. “On the Mend” is an exploration of the female body, displaying themes of “women’s work” through accounts of women who bear scars, both physically and emotionally. This unique installation utilizes the entirety of the gallery, literally tying together embroidered large format photographs and wall-mounted sculptures. Photographs of women’s scars and detailed embroidery of surgical procedures are “mended” through the appearance of the physical act of sewing. Mounted three dimensional castings of women’s hands are used to symbolize a movement of women joining together to help heal each other.

While most of these women hide their scars throughout their daily lives, “On the Mend” is a platform to celebrate the beauty of their altered bodies while women stand strong together to share their stories. This work generates a platform for women’s issues, specifically within the focus of society’s expectations of the female body. This installation fosters a new platform to highlight “craft” or “women’s work” in a contemporary context while emphasizing the importance of women in the arts. “On the Mend” pays homage to centuries of women who have created art in the form of sewing and embroidering while simultaneously honoring women who have survived medical surgeries.

This exhibition has a particular grounding in New Jersey with its references to the 19th and early 20th century millinery trades of Paterson and Union City and the more contemporary resonance of the health care industry. Women – too often exploited, underpaid and unacknowledged – have been the backbone of both of these industries.

Lauren Bettini received her BFA from Pratt Institute and her MFA from William Paterson University. She teaches art at New Milford High School.

An opening reception for the artist will be held on Tuesday, June 4 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.. Refreshments will be served. “On the Mend” will be on view through August 31. Summer hours at Gallery Bergen are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.