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O’Hara Projects

Beasts of Burden: The Exhibition

Beasts of Burden - our complex relationship with animals

Getting ready for the next Beasts of Burden:

I am involved with the BEASTS OF BURDEN exhibition as both artist and curator. Working in diverse media the 20 artists currently in the show create artworks that include animals from our own perspectives. As spiritual beings or science experiments, as entertainment or commodity; thought of psychologically, metaphorically or allegorically; in the future, or the past, the artists explore what they find intriguing about animals. As a group, we consider our complicated connections to these creatures and the many ways they are entwined into our lives and psyches. Here are the artists for the next Beasts of Burden.

2017, Beasts of Burden Pop-up Exhibition

The exhibition on October 20-22, 2017 at 208 E 73rd St NYC coordinated with my presentation Reflections on Beasts of Burden for the Compassion Arts and Culture & Animals Festival at Symphony Space with singer/songwriter Joy Askew and poet Gretchen Primack. The presentation included my artwork and the artwork of the artists of Beasts of Burden.

The artists: Tony Bevilacqua, Ariel Bordeaux, Nancy Diessner, Karen Fiorito, Raul Gonzalez III, Adonna Khare, Wendy Klemperer, Denise Lindquist, Jo-Anne McArthur, Moira McLaughlin, Moby, Jane O'Hara, Julia Oldham, and Gedas Paskauskas.

Highlights from Beasts of Burden Exhibit and Multimedia Presentation

Pictures from Beasts of Burden opening

2014, First Beasts of Burden

I curated Beasts of Burden in 2014 as a recipient of the Curatorial Opportunity Program (COP) from New Art Center in Newton, MA. The exhibit was co-presented with Kathleen Smith Redman of NAC and John Quatrale of Unbound Visual Arts at the Harvard Allston Education Portal Galleries

The exhibition featured the work of Tony Bevilacqua, Ariel Bordeaux, Rebecca Doughty, Raul Gonzalez III, Wendy Klemperer, Denise Lindquist, Jo-Anne McArthur, Moira McLaughlin, Sterling Mulbry, Jane O'Hara, Gedas Paskauskas, Jo Tyler and Shannon Wright.

A panel discussion was moderated by Almitra Stanley. The discussion shed light on the role of animals in the artists' lives and in their art making practices, their inspirations and creative processes.

A 10 minute tour of the artwork of Beasts of Burden, by Denise Lindquist

PANEL DISCUSSION with images of the Beasts of Burden exhibit. Video by Denise Lindquist.

Jane O’Hara's Curatorial Statement

“We were very moved by these thought-provoking and diverse works.”

Vicki Croke of WBUR's The Animalist

“Both the individual and collaborative efforts within the exhibition speak to the polarities of the human-animal relationship, covering every length of the spectrum from deep love and respect to a palpable sense of anxiety, guilt and even outrage regarding crimes perpetrated against the defenseless species.”

Artscope Magazine March 13, 2014

“Jane O’Hara curated an exhibition in which she gathered together fourteen artists whose work has, on the one hand, love and respect for the animals, but on the other hand also addresses our debt for the crimes committed against them.”

Petra Hartl, HundundKunst Vienna, Austria

“Beasts of Burden is a provocative call to action art exhibition. It gives visitors the opportunity to ponder, through the art, how many different animals are treated as well as their own relationship to those animals.”

John Quatrale, Executive Director, Unbound Visual Arts

“The relationship between humanity and animals is on full display at the gallery, where Unbound Visual Arts based in Allston-Brighton, has organized an exhibit in collaboration with guest curator Jane O’Hara and the Newton-based New Art Center.”

Harvard Gazette, Jennifer Doody, Harvard Correspondent

“Beasts of Burden is a timely and well conceived group exhibition that exemplifies our Curatorial Opportunity Program mission-- to investigate contemporary culture through the visual arts and make diverse curatorial visions possible. Jane O’Hara is a thoughtful, passionate and dedicated curator who has a distinct point of view and compels her audience to look at the world and its relationships as she does.”

Kathleen Smith Redman
Exhibitions Director
New Art Center