Visual Arts

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  • Stella
  • Stella's Tags
  • 'My Kids Know What Bridges in Town are Mine' Cake
  • Gangbox
  • Flying Tools: Wiggies
  • Blueprint Table
  • Coffee Break
  • Bathroom Shack
  • Union Picnic
  • Is Identical Treatment Equal Treatment? Green Bay, WI
  • Union Picnic, Curry College

On Equal Terms Mixed Media Exhibition

ON EQUAL TERMS, a site-specific 900-square-foot mixed media art installation by Susan Eisenberg, combines poetry, audio, found objects, photographs, historic artifacts, and 3-D mixed media–including Stella, a life-sized figure on a ladder in a diamond hardhat–to bring viewers into the experiences of women who work on construction sites; and the conversation about employment equity. On Equal Terms‘ 2008 launch coincided with the 30th anniversary of federal affirmative action policies that opened construction jobs and apprenticeship programs to women. Questions raised by the discrepancy between policy expectations and policy outcomes inspired the installation.

Full Exhibitions:
Abrazo Interno Gallery, Clemente Soto Velez Center, New York, NY
Main Gallery, Smithsonian-affiliated Michigan State University Museum, E. Lansing, MI
Adams Gallery, Suffolk University, Boston, MA
Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Selected elements are available to tour to conferences and small venues.
On Equal Terms SHORTFORM Exhibitions:
IBEW District 6 Women’s Conference, Green Bay, WI
Women Build the Nation Conference, Sacramento, CA
Women in Non-Traditional Careers Conference, Peosta, IA
Washington Women in Trades Career Fair, Seattle, WA
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Curry College, Milton, MA

Awarded Project grants from Mass Humanities “Liberty and Justice for All”; Berger-Marks Foundation; 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund; J. & M. Brown Co.; National Electrical Contractors Assoc. Boston Chapter; Poets & Writers; Tyre Fund; and NY Labor History Assoc.

As 2016-2017 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women, Susan Eisenberg will translate the physical On Equal Terms installation into a virtual exhibition.

The On Equal Terms Project, directed by Susan Eisenberg, draws on the leadership of a grassroots network of trade union activists, and uses personal testimony and the arts as springboards for research, analysis, education, and action about employment equity. As an Affiliated Institute of the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center, donations to On Equal Terms Project are tax-deductible.

Colorlines review and slideshow, On Equal Terms exhibition NYC exhibition.

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  • Down this Road
  • Attitudes
  • Chess
  • Neccesary Precautions
  • Do Not Stop Taking This Medication
  • No Cure
  • Effects
  • Rescue
  • Rescue
  • MRI

Perpetual Care

The PERPETUAL CARE Project includes a book of poetry with photographs, and an ongoing series of photographs and 3-D artwork that use prescription bottles to visually explore the patient experience of chronic illness.

Perpetual Care – Photographs (2D)

Eisenberg captures temporary installations that she created over changing seasons, setting her own medication bottles against the lush vistas and historic monuments of a Victorian cemetery, after being diagnosed with lupus:

I understood physical injury and brief illness, but auto-immune disease was new terrain. “You’ll be on this medication for the rest of your life,” was the response when I asked how long I’d be on plaquenil. Empty prescription bottles began to accumulate, and multiply. I didn’t know why I couldn’t discard them, or what to do with them. I wanted to write—poems, or nonfiction—but couldn’t find language, until I began to slowly find my voice and sense of humor in a cemetery.
— from Notes, Perpetual Care — View Book Details

Perpetual Care – Wishing Well (3D)

Her 3-D mixed-media pieces use donated prescription bottles, with labels removed. For Rescue, a ladder created from prescription bottles and bronze, she used Rx bottles contributed by community members of the exhibition venue. Some pieces integrate text from poems, interviews, or patient information fact sheets.

Marran Gallery, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA   View Poetry Reading
Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Visual Aid, San Francisco, CA
Newton Free Library, Newton, MA
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA


Click here to read a selection of poems linked to this exhibition