Rebecca Goyette Who Gets to Be a Horse Girl? Ceramic Sculpture Installation

“Who Gets to Be a Horse Girl?”

Rebecca Goyette

We are pleased to present a new exhibition of work by our winter Artist-in-Residence.
Curated by Alva Calymayor
February 10 – Mar 17, 2024
Opening Reception: Feb 10th, 4-7 pm
Keepsake Gallery at Artshack

Who Gets to Be a Horse Girl?” is an interactive ceramic installation that delves into the question, “Who gets to pursue horse riding and ownership as a hobby?” Inspired by a family tragedy involving a horse this past year, the work contemplates disturbances that stand in the way of our oneness with nature.

A colorful toy plastic horse or a cowboy hat conjures certain fantasies in us as kids, but as we grow, few have opportunities to ride a horse, and still fewer become a horse girl. Is the desire to be a horse girl inherently fraught with consumerist colonial fantasy? The divine child within us finds nature without conquest, able to fulfill their dreams through love. Community care allows us to imagine,

“Who Gets to Be a Horse Girl?” is an interactive floor-to-ceiling ceramic installation features equestrian marionettes, a tear-stained sun, and a large-scale work reimagining mother nature/Gaia/Pacha Mama as a verdant hill replete with the natural elements of earth, sky, river, and sun. Her body becomes the container for feminine trauma, a site for horse girls in precarious positions.

Around the base of the sculpture, shown low to the ground, are bowls of teardrop-shaped paper for people to create drawings and text to express hope and release sadness. The teardrops become part of the installation. As the eye moves upward, we see whimsical horse girl marionettes, a fantastical clay horse, lightning bolts, the sun, fluffy cotton clouds, and tiny teardrops all tethered from the firmaments with colorful silky cords.

The artist’s hand-built pieces approach storytelling with immediacy. While developing this body of work, the image of The Divine Child emerged as a symbol of the artist’s connection with Artshack’s intergenerational community.

Goyette’s “Divine Child” goblet is based on devotional statues and the Jungian archetype as both helpless and all-powerful. The preconscious childhood aspects of our collective psyche encompass the deepest part of our human nature. In the modern era,  the Divine Child has become a form of comfort for a society experiencing uprooting and a necessity for a home. Many anonymous voices wish to find a warm corner where everyone can feel welcomed and recognized. As an artist and educator, the artist wonders: How can we contribute to each other’s spiritual growth?

Rebecca Goyette opened the narrative of this immersive world to Artshack’s young students, and to adult artists with developmental disabilities from LAND Studio/Gallery to create ceramic tile paintings. These paintings were then arranged in a collective grid, resembling a patchwork quilt. The prompts for the artworks included family, personified animals, characters, and nature-based imagery, which were used to tell stories. The result was a colorful and collaborative composition

Rebecca Goyette is a NYC-based visual artist, curator, and arts educator. Goyette’s feminist, interdisciplinary work combines ceramic sculpture, drawing, costumery, and performative film/video to explore the power dynamics inherent in gender and sexuality. Goyette’s work has been included in solo shows at Shelter Gallery (NYC), SPRING/BREAK Art Show (NYC), Huam-Garok Gallery (Seoul, South Korea), Spektrum: Art, Science & Community (Berlin, Germany), Galerie X (Istanbul, Turkey), Jersey City Museum (NJ), Freight & Volume (NYC) and group exhibitions and performances at Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Sex, Lyman Allyn Art Museum (CT), Kyung-In Museum of Art (Seoul, South Korea), KARST (Plymouth, England), Kunstalle Exnergasse (Vienna, Austria), and Whitney Museum of Art (NYC).

As an educator and curator focused on social justice and community-based art at NYC cultural institutions, Goyette has developed interactive public programming including experimental films, artist-led symposiums, live performances, large-scale installations, and multimedia conceptual art with diverse communities. She has led projects at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Kaufman Studios/Museum of Moving Image, and the Museum of Sex.

Artshack Brooklyn’s mission is to make ceramic arts more accessible to people of all abilities and ages.  We provide scholarships to at least a quarter of the kids in our afterschool, hold regular free community days for local residents, and offer free and subsidized ceramics classes to local low-income high school students, seniors, and adults with special needs.  Artshack is developing accountability as an anti-racist, queer-affirming organization that celebrates the creativity of youth and honors people of all abilities.


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