Duffy's "Maximum Security" to Exhibit at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Elizabeth Duffy

The work of Elizabeth Duffy, Associate Professor of Art and University Core Professor, was featured in a major exhibition, “Maximum Security” at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey from April 17-June 26, 2016, curated by Mary Birmingham, which also included an Artist's Talk by Duffy. 

The exhibition includes six quilts Duffy created in 2015 and 2016, who writes of the work, “Quilts immediately bring to mind ideas of home, comfort and security. As heirlooms, they carry narratives that are otherwise forgotten. Bringing these two seemingly polarizing forms together allows me to highlight the costs borne by societies deeply invested in incarceration. By making works that meld homespun process with information hidden from the public sphere, I am drawing attention to our society’s increasing erosion of private space and our collective comfort in incarcerating a significant percentage of our population.”

Birmingham writes of the work, “…a closer consideration of these objects will lead visitors to question how we define privacy, what we protect, and why. The initial comfort we feel is disrupted by Duffy’s intervention that mixes ideas about public prisons and private spaces. If visitors find the experience somewhat unnerving, that is exactly the point.” Works in the exhibition include Spike Island (2015), P is for Panopticon, Maximum Security Quilt (2016), Riker’s Island (six archival pigment prints); In Memory of Kalief Browder: Maximum Security, Riker’s Island (2016), Values Study: Florence ADS (a, b, c) (2016); Wallpaper 2016.  The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Department of State, the Will Family Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the WJS Foundation, members and donors.