Work of the Week: Manifesto of Mittenism

Date: Dec 6, 2017

The AFA Work of the Week for December 4 - 11 is Manifesto of Mittenism. This print by Alberta-based artist Rita McKeough is currently featured in a touring exhibition, Mittenism and the Quest for Empathy, circulated through the AFA Travelling Exhibition Program (TREX).

Four regional organizations coordinate the TREX program for the AFA, with this exhibition curated and organized by TREX Region 4 Southeast, managed by the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Museum in Medicine Hat. The exhibition will tour through all four TREX regions until August 31, 2020.

The artist provided the following context for the artwork:

“For my MFA exhibition at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1979, I exhibited my prints in an installation of a cast concrete roadway and sidewalk. I wrote a Manifesto to accompany the exhibition, which was entitled the Manifesto of Mittenism. It was bound with handmade paper and printed from hand set type and offset lithography plates at the NSCAD print shop. It was a statement about my work in the form of a poetic manifesto using humour and a metaphor of mittens vs. gloves as a strategy to position my work within the context of NSCAD and my perceived sense of the art world at the time.

The Manifesto of Mittenism print is a depiction of me promoting Mittenism as a philosophy of art and life on a soapbox on a street corner and the only listeners I could attract were a group of enthusiastic mittens. The print is a lithograph printed from multiple aluminium plates with hand colouring on the mittens. The image of me is printed on a photo lithographic print.”

If Rita's name sounds familiar to our followers, it may be because we featured a mixed fibre yarn portrait of Rita McKeough on plastic canvas, created by Megan Morman, for our Work of the Week for October 9-16, 2017.

Visit the artist's website to learn more about Rita and her artwork.