Hanako O’Leary: Izanami and Yomi and Molly Vaughan: Her Body and After Boucher

Hanako O’Leary: Izanami and Yomi and Molly Vaughan: Her Body and After Boucher explore themes of feminine power, transgender transformation, fertility, and self-determination. Both exhibitions are on view May 5 through July 7, 2022. 

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Hanako O’Leary: Izanami and Yomi
Molly Vaughan: Her Body and After Boucher 

Banner image: Detail from The Flagellation, Molly Vaughan, Oil and Conté on linen, 2021

What To Expect

These exhibitions include 2D and 3D portraiture of clothed and nude cis and trans women, and representations of medical instruments and post-surgical wounds and recovery.

Hanako O’Leary: Izanami and Yomi

Hanako O’Leary in front of a black background holding her "War Mask 1" in front of her face,

Hanako O’Leary: Izanami and Yomi

May 5, 2022 - July 7, 2022

Izanami features a series of ceramic sculptures influenced by prehistoric Japanese fertility icons, Noh theatre masks, and samurai armor. Izanami, meaning “she who invites,” is the Shinto goddess of creation and death. According to legend, after giving birth to many gods and goddesses, Izanami died while giving birth to fire and was sent down into the underworld. The vessels in Izanami symbolize a realm of self-mastery and the masks represent guides who offer protection as one navigates society.

Yomi, featuring a large-scale fiber installation, is a sister project to Izanami and means “the land of darkness,” otherwise known in western cultures as the underworld and is Izanami’s dominion.

“This piece (Yomi) is a continued invitation to trace back our buried herstory and tales of heroine-ism within our personal and collective lineage, and find freedom and power through our intergenerational experiences.”

- Hanako O’Leary

About Hanako O’Leary

Hanako O’Leary is a craft-based multimedia artist living and working on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish tribes and Duwamish people. She was born and raised by her Japanese mother and American father in the American Midwest.

Hanako is one in a long line of Japanese women to leave home on her own terms. She has studied within institutional walls and beyond. In 2020, she was named a Neddy Cornish Artist Award finalist and received a 2020 MAC Fellowship through the Robert B. McMillen Foundation, in addition to a solo exhibition, Yomi, at Method Gallery. She holds a BFA in Ceramic Sculpture from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MFA from Seattle University.

Image: War Mask 1, Hanako O’Leary, clay and glaze, 2018 


Molly Vaughan: Her Body and After Boucher

An acrylic self portrait of Molly Vaughan holding a cigarette.

Molly Vaughan: Her Body and After Boucher

May 5, 2022 - July 7, 2022

After Boucher features paintings, drawings, lithographs, and textiles based on the works of 18th-century French painter, draftsman, and printmaker François Boucher. These works create visions of queer resplendence and pleasure. Baroque figures, furniture, and environments are infused with transgender bodies, process color palettes, and mythological characters. After Boucher features 60+ works based on the book The Drawings of François Boucher by Alastair Laing. Through these works, viewers are re-introduced to the excessively opulent world of 18th century Europe where aristocratic gender constructs operated in a fluid array of warm pastels and powdered wigs.

Her Body features a collection of self-portraits that depict a range of experiences, some emotional and psychological, others medical.

“Self-determination for marginalized people is always an act of rebellion. Many of the paintings here depict parts of my body that society is always demanding people like me reveal, while simultaneously insisting we never show. But they are also about challenging social norms and the understanding of trans bodies.”

- Molly Vaughan

About Molly Vaughan

Molly Vaughan (b. 1977 London, UK, she/her) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, including the exhibitions Molly Vaughan: Project 42 at Seattle Art Museum, Site of Struggle at The Block Museum of Fine Art, MOTHA, and Chris E. Vargas Present: Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington and We the People at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Her recent solo exhibition titled Molly Vaughan: Project 42 at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art was the first showing of 21 of the 42 planned garments Vaughan is creating in the memorialization of murdered trans women and gender non-conforming individuals.

Vaughan was the recipient of the Betty Bowen Award in 2017 and has received grants from Art Matters Foundation, 4 Culture, Visual Artists Network, and the Hillsborough Arts Council. Her work has been featured in The Advocate, Surface Design Journal, City Arts Journal, Tampa Bay Times, and New American Paintings (Volumes 88 and 151). In November of 2018, Vaughan presented a talk at TEDXSEATTLE focused on the relationship between activism and art-making, core elements of her work.

Image: Self-Portrait with Clove Cigarette #2, Molly Vaughan, Oil on canvas, 2020.


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The Office of Arts & Culture promotes the value of arts and culture in, and of, communities throughout Seattle. It strives to ensure that a wide range of high-quality artistic experiences are available to everyone, encourage artist-friendly arts and cultural policy.