She Bends: Women in Neon was originally a presentation of female neon artists curated by neon artist Meryl Pataky at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, CA. The show turned out to be a massive hit, and is now coming to San Francisco's Midway Gallery, bringing with it some of the best in the neon-art world, and amplifying the female voices that have been reclaiming and improving this traditionally male-dominated trade. The artists in the show were deliberately picked by Pataky for not only their skill with the medium, but also their hands-on attitude towards it. The title acts as an endorsement of the artists that commit their time and energy to the craft, placing an emphasis on not only women neon-artists, but specifically those who bend their own neon compositions. This show and movement has imbued the declining commercial neon trade, creating art through it and conceptually capitalizing on its brilliant hues and even nostalgic evocations.
She Bends spotlights women working in neon while also underscoring the hand-made aspect of the practice.The exhibition title itself relays an action—that of bending. What starts as an act of skill progresses into a devoted lifestyle for the artists in this show and for all neon benders across the world. Among the 32 artists are several pioneers of both the trade and visual arts forefront including Lisa Schulte, Meryl Pataky, Olivia Steele and Shawna Peterson.