West Coast Premiere: Amanda Rowan Place Setting
Place Setting Exhibition at Poet and/the Bench
11 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley
- Tuesday, October 3, 5:30-7:30 pm Opening, Live Table Setting Installation by Amanda
- Saturday, October 7, 2:30-5:30 pm Tea with Amanda
- Place Setting, Ritual and Dramatic Landscapes On View Ongoing
Tuesday - Saturday, 10:30 am-5:00 pm (open til 7:30 on Oct 3)
Sunday, 11:00am-4:00 pm
Place Setting premiers at the 46th Mill Valley Film Festival
- Monday, October 9, at 8:00 pm at the Rafael 3 (we are attending and the artist will be speaking)
- Tuesday, October 10, at 2:00 pm at the Rafael 3
Buy tickets to Place Setting: Mill Valley Film Festival
Check this page for updated information as events get closer!
Poet and/the Bench is delighted to announce multimedia artist Amanda Rowan’s return to her hometown of Mill Valley as Artist in Residence during the West Coast premiere of her art film Place Setting at the 46th Mill Valley Film Festival. The film will screen on October 9-10, 2023 in San Rafael. Her residency kicks off with an opening of images and installations on view, in conjunction with the film, at Downtown Mill Valley mixed-use gallery and retail space Poet and/the Bench.
Amanda Rowan hails from local artists, daughter of Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee, Peter Rowan, and niece of Chris and Lorin Rowan of the Rowan Brothers. A graduate of Tamalpais High School (Tam High) in Mill Valley, she grew up singing at Sweetwater Music Hall and acting in plays at the Marin Theater Company.
Her film Place Setting and the photo project of the same name originally debuted as part of Amanda's solo museum show at The Women International Study Center in Santa Fe New Mexico. The work became part of the museum's permanent collection in 2022. The project was made utilizing museum artifacts as props in the film and images.
At Poet and/the Bench, Rowan will be creating a tablescape installation inspired by her film during Downtown Mill Valley’s Tuesday Art Walk on October 3, 2023. The gallery will be showing a trailer of her film; the full-length art film will also be available for purchase at Poet and/the Bench. Poet and/the Bench founders Bonnie Powers and Jeffrey Levin have curated a series of photographic works from this and other acclaimed series by Rowan for viewing and purchase.
In addition to the photographic prints is a selection of tablecloths depicting the elaborate food and objects from Place Setting that are just in time for holiday feasting and gift giving.
Highly performative, Rowan’s work tells timeless stories of domesticity through a cinematic lens. Within the film Place Setting, she plays a solitary housewife who creates and destroys a glamorous 1970s-style dinner party through retro gestures. The film is a sculptural and performance piece that is at once a celebration of matriarchy and the art and flair of the hostess; while simultaneously alluding to collective generational trauma through its deconstruction.
With vintage clothing and objects Rowan’s pieces look to the past, utilizing nostalgia to question our modern world. Aesthetically maximalist, Rowan’s film, and imagery are an exploration of conspicuous consumption, her eye is always on the notion of “beautiful excess”. A surrealist indictment of “a woman’s place” through the imagery of those willingly half-remembered “heydays” of the past.
With a reverence for the camp, and unafraid to laugh, Rowan is in on the joke of female representation. She is seducing you to engage with the works because this post-modern Renaissance artist knows sexuality, humor, and beauty in images, ultimately opens up a dialogue to something deeper. The Place Setting film and photographs take the notion of the forgotten and exploited females of the past, and the iconography associated with them, as a way to respond to contemporary mores– asking in what ways is depicting and performing the feminine a constraint and in what ways is it power?
About the Artist Amanda Rowan
Rowan graduated Cum Laude from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. A successful tenure followed in New York City shooting celebrities and acting in performances on Broadway, in Law and Order, the Chappelle Show, and co-starring with Paris Hilton in National Lampoon's Pledge This. She now lives in Los Angeles, working within the genres of photography and performance art.
Rowan has been recognized with numerous accolades for her art, including "The Curator Award 2019" by Photo District News (P.D.N.), "Photographer of the Year 2018" by the International Chromatic Photography Publication, and the Tokyo International Award for Photography in 2019. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Carrie Able Gallery, Photo LA, Art Basel, The Wall Street Gallery, and The Leica Gallery in Los Angeles. Her images hang in the permanent collection at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas with Damien Hirst, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Takashi Murakami. Rowan is currently a Full-Time Faculty at the Photo Arts Conservatory at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles in both the MFA and BFA programs.