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Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterDraw the Line Features Colossal Drawings Addressing the Refugee Experience

2017 Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art Recipients: Kelley Donahue (Brooklyn, NY), Joanna Platt (Philadelphia, PA) and Paul Santoleri (Philadelphia, PA)

Curated by: Amie Potsic, Executive Director & Chief Curator, Main Line Art Center

March 6 – April 16, 2017

Artist Talks & Opening Reception: Friday, March 10
Artist Talks: 5:30-6:30 pm | Reception: 6:30-8:30 pm

Artist Workshops:

A Twisting Tale of Burning Truths: Wire Sculpture and Soldering Workshop (Adult Workshop)
Joanna Platt | Thursday, April 6, 6:30-9:30 pm

Signs of Life: A Collaborative Drawing & Painting Experience (Family Workshop: 4+ yrs & adult)
Paul Santoleri | Saturday, May 13, 1-3 pm

Main Line Art Center in Haverford is proud to announce Kelley Donahue (Brooklyn, NY), Joanna Platt (Philadelphia, PA) and Paul Santoleri (Philadelphia, PA) as the 2017 recipients of the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art. Selected by Members of Main Line Art Center’s Board of Artistic Advisors and Executive Director through a highly competitive application process, Donahue, Platt, and Santoleri will be featured in Draw the Line, the 13th Annual Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, on view at Main Line Art Center March 6 to April 16.

Drawing with ink, clay, and conduit, these artists investigate the permeable borders between internal and external matter, perception, and experience. Accessing both intuition and intellect, drawing and memory are the basis for inquiry. Their videos, installations, and sculptures create new worlds that illuminate and activate our galleries to create seductive narratives, uncanny characters, and immersive environments.

Paul Santoleris impressive work will feature a 12’ x 20’ paper drawing as well as wall, floor, and window works created on site that reference our relationship to nature and the harrowing journey of refugees seeking new homes across seas. Raised in Havertown, Santoleri took drawing classes at Main Line Art Center when he was 13 years old. He now travels extensively to make his work and is represented globally in collections public and private.

Now in its thirteenth year, Main Line Art Center is proud to present an annual exhibition in memory of Teaching Artist Betsy Meyer featuring the work of forward-thinking artists who are pushing boundaries within their artistic practice. As an artist, Betsy exemplified what is most exciting about engaging with the artwork of living artists: watching them experiment with their media and tackling complicated and tough subjects. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to follow her example and expand their practice into new frontiers. And finally, as a member of the board and exhibition committee, she assured that the Art Center was there for the artistic community of Philadelphia.
The Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art, presented by Main Line Art Center in conjunction with the Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, consists of an award of $1000 and a solo exhibition to each selected artist. This award and associated exhibition program is an effort to support the talented contemporary artists in the region, to honor deserving artists in the field, and to encourage excellence and experimentation in artistic practice, presentation, and community involvement.

Approximately three artists are awarded annually. The 2016 recipients of the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art were Matthew Courtney (Philadelphia), Sun Young Kang (Bryn Mawr), Zahra Nazari (New York) whose work was featured in Transformations, presented at Main Line Art Center in Spring 2016. The 2017 finalists are as follows: Rachel Eng (Pennsylvania), Michael Fischerkeller (Maryland), Michael Froio (New Jersey), Jennifer Hecker (New York), Mison Kim (New York), Erica Loustau (Pennsylvania), Thomas Porett (Pennsylvania), and Adrienne Moumin (Maryland).

The Art Center will host artist talks Friday, March 10 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, followed by a public reception from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The artist talk, reception and gallery visits are free and open to the public. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Friday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Each of the artists will also facilitate a workshop on their process during the course of Transformations. For more information about these programs, including registration, visit www.mainlinert.org or call 610.525.0272.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterSelf Creation (as the meaning of life) © Kelley Donahue 2014

Kelley Donahue, originally from northern California, is a ceramic, installation, and performance artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Initially interested in drawing and painting, Donahue felt limited by the flat rectangle of the canvas and now constructs three-dimensional canvases of any shape using clay, which she then paints. Donahue earned her B.A. in studio art from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, and an M.F.A. in ceramics from Alfred University in Alfred, NY. Donahue has exhibited her work internationally in venues including T+H Gallery in Boston, MA; the Ceramics & Glass Fair in New York, NY; Launch Pad Gallery in Portland, OR; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, Canada; and Jatiwangi Art Factory in Java, Indonesia. She received the Juror’s Choice Award from Art Centro in Poughkeepsie, NY and the Barbara Rittenberg Fellowship from the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. In addition to her ceramic sculpture and painting, Donahue has collaborated extensively with musicians and video artists to create performances including video projections and sound. Donahue currently teaches ceramics at Jersey City University and maintains a studio practice in Brooklyn, NY.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterPortals © Joanna Platt 2015

Joanna Platt is a Philadelphia-based sculptor whose work deals with the ways our interaction with technology has created new configurations of defined space inside our computers and media devices. She received a B.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, NJ and an M.F.A. from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. A member of the gallery collective Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Platt has exhibited her work internationally with shows at Galeria Nacional, in San Jose, Costa Rica; SoHo 20, in NY, NY; Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia; Grizzly Grizzly in Philadelphia; the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ; the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, NJ; The Shore Institute for Contemporary Art in Asbury Park, NJ; and Artist Run at the Satellite Art Fair in Miami. Most recently, she was an invited artist in Artship Olympia at the Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Platt is an adjunct professor at Camden County College in Blackwood, NJ and a sculpture technician at Independent Casting in Philadelphia.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterOmega Warm Garden © Paul Santoleri 2009. Photo by Lu Szumskyj

Paul DiFuria Santoleri is a muralist based in Philadelphia whose drawing installations and wall-sized paintings can be found in city streets around the world including Philadelphia, Paris, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. Santoleri’s work encompasses a variety of media, but endlessly returns to the stories that can be found in the drawn line: etched on a wall, carved in glass, concrete, wood, ink, obsidian, fresco, or color. His focus on the art of line has led him to create works in a wide diversity of situations around the world, and often in public spaces, like his most recent tile mural installation in the Philadelphia International Airport. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, including grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation and The Independence Foundation, Santoleri holds a B.F.A. in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. His work was also included in a monograph published by Criteres Publications in Grenoble, France, which accompanied his first solo show in Paris. Raised in Havertown, Santoleri took drawing classes at Main Line Art Center when he was 13 years old. He now travels extensively to make his work and is represented globally in collections public and private.

Draw the Line, Main Line Art CenterPaul Santoleri in his studio (Philadelphia).  Photo by Amie Potsic 2017

Amie Potsic, curator of Draw the Line, began her tenure as Executive Director & Chief Curator of Main Line Art Center in July of 2012. Prior to that, she served as Director of Gallery 339 and Director of the Career Development Program at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) in Philadelphia where she curated exhibitions and planned professional development programming for emerging and professional artists. Potsic has curated over 70 exhibitions at venues including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Moore College of Art & Design. Potsic is also an established photographic artist who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. In addition, she is currently Chair of the Art In City Hall Artistic Advisory Board to the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy.

Main Line Art Center is the community’s home to discover, create, and experience visual art. The mission of Main Line Art Center is to inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities, and economic means in visual art through education, exhibitions, and experiences. Committed to increasing the visibility and accessibility of art, the Art Center presents innovative exhibitions and events in the community, including Panorama: Image-Based Art in the 21st Century, a Greater Philadelphia-wide celebration of the photographic image and digital media.

Main Line Art Center’s educational offerings for all ages, abilities, and economic means span from traditional to contemporary, and are all held to the highest level of excellence. In 2015, Main Line Art Center received the Commitment to Cultural Access Award from Art-Reach for the Center’s Accessible Art Programs for children and adults with disabilities, now in their 52nd year. Additionally, the Art Center grants over $12,000 in need-based scholarships annually. Last year, Main Line Art Center engaged 21,000 people through classes, exhibitions, and Summer Art Camp, and touched the lives of over 78,000 through Exhibitions in the Community and festivals across the Philadelphia area.

Thank you to Main Line Art Center for the content of this post.

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