Trappings: Stories of Women, Power and Clothing

What do you wear that makes you feel powerful?

June 13–August 16, 2008

516 ARTS is the New Mexico host for the national traveling exhibition called Trappings: Stories of Women, Power and Clothing, created by Two Girls Working, the collaboration by artists Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki. The exhibition tour is in conjunction with the release of their book of the same title. Their artwork Trappings begins by asking women to respond to the question: what do you wear that makes you feel powerful? Two Girls Working have interviewed over 600 women in fifteen states. Through its multiple parts, Trappings ignites conversations about the meaning and expression of power. Trappings: Albuquerque is designed to engage the public beyond the walls of the gallery. To see the whole exhibition, visit 516 ARTS, ride the free D-Ride buses and take a walk on Central Avenue between 1st and 6th Streets Downtown.

Many women from New Mexico are included in this project, including over 40 women who recently participated in interview sessions hosted by the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the Rio Grande Community Development Center, the South Valley Economic Development Center and Zuni Pueblo.

Art on Buses

The public art installations for Trappings: Albuquerque include the D-Ride buses in Downtown Albuquerque, featuring stories by three women who each describe a literal or metaphorical journey. Their stories tell of transformative moments, new life stages and journeys taken. Bus can view panels on the interior of he three D-Ride buses and can use their cell phones to dial a toll-free number to hear the women tell their own stories.

Art on banners for art walk on Central Avenue

The public art installations for Trappings: Albuquerque also include art banners on lamp post and buildings featuring women from Albuquerque and across the country whose interviews and excerpts specifically address a public interaction. These stories are about being seen in public, about how one presents oneself in public and the public perception of those featured. They are devised as a way for the viewer to explore their own expectations and perceptions of what it's like to see and been seen in public. The banners include photographic portraits and short quotes from the women's interviews and are in both English and Spanish. Check out the banners on lightposts and these buildings along Central Avenue:

Theatre Block between 1st and 2nd Streets
One Up at 3rd Street
Crossroads building at 4th Street
Kress Buiding between 4th & 5th Streets

    This project is made possible in part by grants from New Mexico Humanities Council, City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and The FUNd at Albuquerque Community Foundation. Special thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor, the City of Albuquerque's ABQ Ride and Planning Department, Downtown Action Team, Stubblefield Screenprint Company, UNM Department of Communications & Journalism, and many more generous supporters. For more information, please visit

    Radio Interviews

    Check out the Two Girls Working interview on NPR and the Art Ortega interview with Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki.

    Opening reception: Friday, June 13, 6–8pm
    Sound Artist CK Barlow

    CK Barlow is a composer and sound designer who performs with the ensembles Out of Context and mJane and as a soloist, constructing pieces based on a variety of field recordings. CK frequently composes for Albuquerque’s Tricklock Theater and has provided music for five independent films and several video artists and choreographers. CK’s writing has been published in MIT’s Computer Music Journal and Leonardo Music Journal. Excerpt from live sound piece by CK Barlow, created at the opening of Trappings, June 13, 2008.

    Trappings Panel Discussion: Saturday, June 14, 2pm

    The public is invited to join in the discussion of the Trappings project question and its many implications with guest artists Two Girls Working, local scholars and participants. One simple question can elicit a response as widely divergent as the backgrounds, attitudes and social mores of those participating in, or simply viewing, the project. Trappings is an artwork which is based in oral histories and community dialogue that examines the way we identify ourselves and others. Trappings presents images and oral histories that describe the range and diversity of background, identity and attitude among women. Scholars on the panel include Kathy Freise (Ph.D. in American Studies, freelance writer) and Linda B. Hall (Ph.D. in Contemporary Latin American History, currently writing the biography Delores Del Rio: Icon of Beauty in Two Cultures).

    Book Signing at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe: Sunday, June 15, 5:30pm

    Join Two Girls Working for a free lecture, book signing and reception at the CCA. Special guests include women from Santa Fe who participated in Trappings. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM.
    If you can't come to an event visit to order a signed copy or visit your local book store