Traveling Home and Back — The Works of Janet Goldner
State of the Arts NYC, May 31, 2016
Janet Goldner is a sculptor whose work crosses many cultures, focusing on the “beauty and genius of each as well as what we have in common.” She has been involved with African cultures since her undergraduate days at Antioch College, traveling first to Ghana and, years later, to Zimbabwe and South Africa. Goldner’s longest and deepest association has been with Mali where she has spent several months every year since the mid-1990’s. She has mentored women artists and helped to create employment for rural women through textile projects. She is also involved in an ongoing collaboration with contemporary artists. Her annual visits to Mali fuel much of her work. Goldner’s pieces vary from monumental (measured in feet) to small (measured in inches).
Fences & Neighbors @ FiveMyles in Brooklyn
NYArts, April 26, 2016
Fences & Neighbors is a mixed media installation inspired by Janet Goldner’s research trip to Arizona in 2014.
As the fever pitch around migration mounted in 2014, Janet went to see for herself. Working with theTucson Arts Brigade and the US Department of Arts and Culture, she spent a week on and around the border learning from migrants and residents.
Where The Art Is: A Spring Gallery Guide
Art to See in the Galleries, Holland Cotter, NEW YORK TIMES, April 21, 2016
“powerful…show… by…Janet Goldner on immigration.”
The Beautiful Marriage of Jewelry and Photography
Janet Goldner: Multiple Exposures @ the Museum of Arts and Design May 17, 2014
Sculptor Janet Goldner seeks out the global and the intersection of art and social activism. Goldner has spent over 35 years engaged with Africa. In her stunning mixed-media necklace sculpture Wealth in Africa, one of the larger pieces in the show, she incorporates photographs, video, and sound to honor the women potters of Kalabougou, Mali, who she believes are the “upholders of a long tradition of skill, resilience and humanity.” The work is provocative; so too is the title, Wealth of Africa. It is meant “to counter the relentless attention to poverty in Africa and to refocus attention on the richness, beauty and genius found there.”
KAWRAL: Malian Visual Artists contribute to Mali’s REVIVAL
The Exhibition “Kawral” at the Museum of Bamako, March 20 –30, 2014
This exhibition is the result of a Artists’ Residence which was held Mopti from February 25 thru March 10 with 25 professional artists from all over Mali. With the theme of Peace, Reconciliation and Social Cohesion, this activity was designed to allow these artists to contribute to Mali’s recovery and extend the influence of the artistic and cultural life of Mali through the creation of original works of art. “Kawral” means unity, understanding, peace in the language of the Peuls of Mopti.
Reviews from the exhibition
Paix, reconciliation, cohesion sociale:Sous Le Pinceau Des Artistes Plasticiens; Essor: 25 Mars 2014
Les plasticiens apportent leur contribution; Les Echos, 25 March, 2014
Reconciliation et cohesion sociale vue par les artistes; Le Republican: 27 Mars, 2014
Janet Goldner: Art and Life
Janet Goldner is a sculptor whose work crosses many cultures, focusing on the “beauty and genius of each as well as what we have in common.” She has been involved with African cultures since her undergraduate days at Antioch College, traveling first to Ghana and, years later, to Zimbabwe and South Africa. Goldner’s longest and deepest association has been with Mali where she has spent several months every year since the mid-1990′s. She has mentored women artists and helped to create employment for rural women through textile projects. She is also involved in an ongoing collaboration with contemporary artists. Her annual visits to Mali fuel much of her work.
US artist grooms local talent
Following their relocation to Mercury House, First Floor Gallery has engaged Janet Goldner to educate young artists on how to develop their works. Marcus Gora, the Public Relations Director of the gallery, said artists needed much more than talent to be successful.
“Making good artwork is not all a young artist needs to do in order to build a successful career. Being able to talk about your work, explain your ideas to audiences and be honest and critical about your work are some of the biggest challenges for young artists,” said Gora.
First Floor Gallery Engages New York Artist
NewsDay, November 3, 2012
As part of its educational programme designed to address the challenges facing young visual artists in Zimbabwe, First Floor Gallery has invited a senior New York-based artist and mentor, Janet Goldner, to conduct workshops and a collaborative exhibition with the local artists.
Goldner has over two decades of working and mentoring experience in the visual arts industry.
To date, she has assisted artists in several African countries, including Mali and Ghana, to develop successful art practice and help build professional careers.
Supported by the Fulbright Senior Scholar programme, the initiative is part of an educational exchange programme that allows experienced United States educators to support educational initiatives in Africa. The project also has the support of the Public Affairs Section of US Embassy in Harare.
The other objective of the programme is to enhance development of a better rapport and opportunities for exchange with the US education and culture sector. Goldner arrived in the country on Monday and she is currently conducting a two-week workshop with Harare artists.
Dubbed the Self Analysis and Critique in the Fine Arts, the workshop addresses the needs of individual artists, while doing away with gender bias in the industry.
Of Note Magazine, Sunday, December 19, 2010
Although sculptor Janet Goldner has spent most of her 35 year long engagement with Africa producing sculptures inspired by Mali, it was her stunning gold necklace exploring the working conditions of gold miners in apartheid South Africa that caught Lowery Stokes Sims’ attention. Sims, the Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, hand-picked the piece for the museum’s ambitious exhibition, the Global Africa Project, which surveys the global influences on African art and vice versa, African art’s influence on the globe.
In Ms. Goldner’s creation, black and white photographs of the miners and their families are bordered in ornate gold and hung on an oversized barbed wire-esque necklace. Ms. Goldner spoke with of note about the origin of the 1992 piece, its current place in the exhibit, and its relevance in 2011.
New York Times, Judith H. Dobrzynski, November 24, 2010
As she conceived the exhibition, Ms. Sims wanted to stress the “global” far more than the “Africa.” Yes, she and her co-organizer, Leslie King-Hammond, director of the Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, chose artists who are African or of African descent, no matter where they were born. “Africa exists wherever these people are,” Ms. Sims said.
But they also picked artists like Janet Goldner, an American sculptor of Eastern European descent who draws on her frequent travels to Africa.
Roberta Smith, New York Times, August 8, 1997
“Most of Us Are Immigrants combines language and objects to make conceptually-based public art that takes the whole city as its site.”
Steven Snyder, Downtown Express, November 20, 2009
Goldner’s ideas conceived in Mali, born on Warren Street: Tribeca artist’s massive steel sculptures resonate through two worlds
Defining a Woman’s Place in the World as the Very Center of Life
Vivien Raynor, The New York Times, 1996
Janet Goldner is a sculptor with a gift for wielding the blow torch, a way with words, and the will to combine the two.
Jessica Diamond, The Washington Post, May 15, 2003
American Janet Goldner combines influences in her imposing installation, burning English words and organic patterns borrowed from Malian textiles into her door-shaped steel plates.
Adama Coulibaly, Les Echos, Bamako Mali, Sept 24, 2002
Art and culture ignore barriers, racial and others. With Janet Goldner, this assertion has become a reality. … Indeed the presence among us in Mali of this American artist bears witness to the universality of the artistic message and culture.
L’art et la culture ignorant les frontiers raciales et autres. Avec Janet Goldner cette assertion est devenue plus qu’une realite. Elle est l’evidence meme. En effet la presence parmi nous au Mali de cette artists americane temoigne, on ne peut meuix, de l’univeralite du message artistique et culture.
MEET JANET GOLDNER
New-York-based sculptor “with a gift for wielding the blow torch”, Janet Goldner has a passion for Mali. Born June 1952 in Washington, D.C, Janet graduated in Art from Antioch College and New York University. Her thirty-year cultural journey began when she first traveled to Africa in 1973. This journey ignited her life-long fascination with the continent and particularly West Africa. She returned to Mali as a Fulbright fellow in 1994-95, working with potters, metalsmiths, and contemporary Malian artists.
ART; A Mixture of Messages in Three Shows
Vivien Raynor, The New York Times, Feb 26, 1995
Having asked herself what it is that she knows, Janet Goldner cuts the question out of steel sheeting and, in a companion work, lists physical and mental features that have inspired feminist discourse.