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Blackbird Studios exhibit depicts housewives from another era

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Rumors of an American Housewife includes work by Gia Ray, as well as collaborations with Joel Spencer and Juan Muniz.
Photo: Gia Ray

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Rumors of an American Housewife
By Gia Ray
Through July 31
Opening reception July 1, 6 p.m. to midnight
Blackbird Studios, 1551 S. Commerce St.

Spend five minutes watching any of Bravo’s Housewives programs and you’ll come away feeling like society has come a long way since the June Cleaver era. Gia Ray had that striking transformation in mind when she created her recent body of work, Rumors of an American Housewife. The exhibit, which includes collaborative pieces by Joel Spencer and Juan Muniz, commemorates a time when males were unquestioningly the head of the household and women were almost exclusively homemakers. Ray says she drew inspiration for the project while looking at old family photos of her grandmother. “She always had her shoes on and the pearl necklace. ... It’s something we don’t see anymore.” Something else we don’t see anymore: contests in which the best-dressed housewife takes home a prize. But that, too, will happen Friday night at Blackbird Studios, with a piece from the show going home with the winner.

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