Dear Artists, I am so happy to announce that we plan to resume programs at Kuerner Farm beginning in July with a few minor changes made to ensure everyone’s safety. Plein air and photography opportunities will begin this summer, and classes with Karl J. Kuerner will resume in mid-September. Please see links below for information and to register.
Dear Friends, Neighbors and Art Lovers, If you’re staying local for the holiday weekend, I’d like to invite you to
A BIT OF THE ARTS: HOLIDAY ART SALE
Friday, November 29th from 4:00 – 8:00, Saturday, November 30th from 10:00 – 4:00. *Free Admission*
Live Music* Food* Pottery* Jewelry* Photography* Paper Arts* Fibers* Painting* Printmaking and More! Twentieth Century Club.
Twentieth Century Club 84 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050. In the heart of beautiful, historic Lansdowne, the Twentieth Century Club awaits you and your guests in a gracious, one hundred year old, arts and crafts style building.
Please note – Lansdowne is in Upper Darby/West Philly. NOT Lansdale, which is in Montgomery County. Easy mistake to make! I will be there with my watercolors and other small, framed pieces! For more information visit the event page.
Can’t make it in real life? Check out my Etsy Shop! Free shipping and gift-wrapping within the continental US :)Hope to see you there. Either way, have a lovely holiday!
Thank you to Erica Harney for the content of this post.
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Geoffrey Agrons, Sebastien Leclercq, Deborah Weiss, and Brooke Lanier
November 15, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Opening Reception Friday, November 22 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Holiday Party Friday, December 20, 5:30pm-8pm
Water inspires a unique fascination as a visually complex, mesmerizing substance that is also essential for human life. From the pristine to the toxic, turbulent to placid, Fluid Dynamics assembles a collection of photographs and paintings that address a diverse spectrum of ways of depicting, contemplating, and interacting with bodies of water.
Deborah Weiss’s oil paintings on panel are the most abstract and gestural pieces in the show, utilizing an intriguing absence of contextual cues as to the scale of the subject. The palette and textures suggest shorelines with intricate deposits of silt, but they could easily be interpreted as storm systems, ocean currents, or weathered wood.
The patterns in Weiss’s paintings would feel right at home as vignettes along the shoreline of the Salton Sea in Geoffrey Agrons’s photos. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the area was home to luxury resorts. By the 1970s, agricultural runoff, evaporation, and low rainfall had rendered the water toxic and saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Massive fish die-offs, algal blooms, and related bird deaths rendered the area unattractive for those seeking a beach vacation. Other photographs capture scenes from shorelines impacted by hurricanes, pollution, and drought. Independent of this narrative, the photographs contain melancholy yet peaceful vistas punctuated by bleached driftwood and architectural relics of nautical activity.
Agrons’ ecological allegories pair with Sebastien Leclercq’s scenes of shipping vessels that damage the very environment upon which their industry depends. The views from different parts of the world, desert and arctic, imply different facets of climate change. Leclercq spent five weeks aboard several ships in the Finnish Maritime Fleet, documenting the contemporary state of an ancient tradition. The boats are so enormous that at times they seem abstracted and transformed into colorful, geometric compositional elements rather than floating factories.
Leclercq’s views of ships lend context to Brooke Lanier’s paintings. The saturated colors and hard edges of boats and docks create a collage effect in real life. Lanier pushes that line of thought and creates collage-based paintings that recombine beloved landscapes in the composited manner of unreliable memories. Alongside Leclercq’s photographs, Lanier’s paintings are reconnected to their origins, creating a dialogue.
Gallery Hours are Tuesday and Thursday 12pm – 6pm, Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday 11am – 3pm, by appointment or chance. The gallery will be closed December 22 – 29, 2019 for the holidays and open by appointment in January.
Thank you to Brooke Lanier for the content of this post.
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“Boundless and Bare…” is a two-photographer exhibition, sponsored by Pete Checchia Photography and Arts, 733 N’ 2nd Street, in Philadelphia, PA, featuring the works of Rachel Zimmerman, Harry Byrne and curated by Jon Manteau.
The exhibition opens, On “First Friday”, October 4th with an artist reception the following day, Saturday, October 5th. Pete Checchia Photography and Arts, 733 N 2nd St.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The title of the exhibition comes from the Percy Shelley sonnet “Ozymandias”. In the poem, a traveler describes a ruined statue, of a once mighty king, Ozymandias. The theme of the poem, is a meditation on the hubris of kings, empires and their inevitable decline, the fragility of human power and the effects of time. We are bearing witness to a similar decline in the United States. Our once “Mighty Union” seems to be slowly, inevitably eroding from outside forces and from internal. Our “Made in America” industrial giants are no longer a force in the world markets. Our once thriving plants, factories and workshops, long ago abandoned and vacated, left to the elements and to decay. Our old forms of entertainment, amusement parks, drive-in movie theaters, circuses, to name a few, replaced by that which is digital. Jobs lost to other countries and automation, our own workforce left to rot…or to rust across the rustbelt. If the creation of a structure represents the ideals and values of a time, so too does its subsequent abandonment and destruction.
In this exhibition, Rachel Zimmerman’s photographs of the “Altherholt Machine Shop”, through her lens, bear witness to remnants of “what was”, like some eerie time capsule. Our craftmanship and tools for the job, surrounded by aging infrastructure. The inanimate “tools of the trade” ghost-like without the people trained in their use. Harry Byrne’s photographs document the remnants of what once was or “the ghosts of”. In his images of antiquated modes of transportation (trolleys) and outdated “Americana”, an amusement park, one can almost feel the presence of all of the thousands of human beings who at one time or another passed through, on their way to work, home or for a family vacation or afternoon out. The Six Flags Amusement Park outside of New Orleans, vacated after Hurricane Katrina is now covered in weeds, rust and peeling paint. The park itself no longer inhabited by people but by apex predators-alligators and wild boar.
Harry Byrne is an attorney based just outside of Philadelphia, PA. He has written and lectured extensively on family law topics. He enjoys photographing urban decay and abandoned sites of all types and manner and is interested in themes of the transitory, the inevitable collapse and the pretensions of greatness: a favorite poem is Shelley’s ”Ozymandias”. More importantly, urban exploration and photography are as far as he can get from the strictures and formalities of practicing law.
Rachel Zimmerman is actively working in the visual arts. She is the Founder and Executive Director of InLiquid Art and Design, based in Philadelphia, PA. She is a working mother, married with a 14-year-old son, Ivan, and a 12-year-old daughter, Sasha. She doesn’t get as much time to do her own artwork as she would like. When she does get the opportunity, they are usually precious moments while traveling, where she can explore color, tone, light and composition in the ordinary. She has always been interested in spaces without people. At the moment, there is a timelessness that does not become dated by the conventions of style. Over the years, she has been influenced by the photography of-Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind and Robert Frank…” The Americans” in their filmic quality and their exploration of the unfamiliar place.
Guest Curator Jon Manteau is a visual artist, musician, maker of many things, college professor and curator. He’s been a working artist for over 35 years. He attended Parsons School of Design, The New School for Social Research, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received his Master of Fine Art, from the University of Delaware, in 1996. He has taught for over 25 years, at the University of Delaware, Temple/Tyler University and is currently an Associate Professor at Penn State University/Brandywine, where he has been building their studio-art program since 2010. He’s exhibited nationally and his works are in collections, throughout the United States and Canada. He’s curated multiple exhibitions. He’s lived and worked in New York City, Brooklyn and Hoboken. He’s a “native son” of Philadelphia, where he lives and has his studio-practice.
Thank you to Jon Manteau for the content of this post.
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The Delaware Art Museum Presents Exhibitions Focused on Beauty, Gender, and Identity
Opening in October: Posing Beauty in African American Culture and Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters
WILMINGTON, DE (September 20, 2019) — For as long as the concept of beauty has existed, it has been championed and idealized, as well as challenged and questioned. Beauty as a concept, in art as in culture and society, is ever-changing. It is also increasingly complex, as viewers and artists alike drive for deeper discussion around traditional standards and reconsidered interpretations, while eagerly seeking fresh insights and new voices.
Building off this momentum, and continuing its vision of presenting a range of voices to viewers, the Delaware Art Museum presents two provocative exhibitions this fall exploring beauty, gender, and identity: Posing Beauty in African American Culture, on view October 19, 2019, through January 26, 2020, and Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters, on view October 5, 2019, through April 12, 2020.
Posing Beauty in African American Culture will look at the contested ways in which African American beauty has been represented in culture, while Sound the Deep Waters, a commission inspired by the Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and illustration collections, will present a contemporary look at gender and identity through the lens of historical narrative art.
“We’re excited to present these exhibitions at the same time–in dialogue. Both create visually lush experiences for visitors,” says Heather Campbell Coyle, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “In Posing Beauty, you see a range of artists working in different styles from glamorous portraiture to documentary photography to video art. The works represent over a century of ongoing conversation around beauty and how we see ourselves and others. Then, in the Angela Fraleigh show, you discover a unique, immersive experience inspired by works of art in the Museum’s collection, but there are unexpected elements and themes that cross over between the two projects.”
Together, the two exhibitions and their related programming will invite viewers into the galleries to see works of art with meaningful connections to both the collection and community. At the same time, the overlapping themes of the exhibitions and complementary works of art will continue the Museum’s vision of increasing representation within its own galleries for women artists and artists of color.
“As the Delaware Art Museum looks to provide a platform for all artists and share works of art that tell a range of stories in many different ways, these exhibitions will extend that vision and invite viewers to be part of the discussion,” says Sam Sweet, Executive Director and CEO of the Delaware Art Museum. “We expect the two exhibitions will inspire our community to think deeper on their own notions of beauty and question how those notions were shaped, and perhaps return to look again at favorite works with fresh eyes.” About the Exhibitions
Posing Beauty in African American Culture examines the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media, including photography, film, video, fashion, advertising, and other forms of popular culture, such as music and the Internet. Organized by artist and scholar Deborah Willis, the exhibition features 104 works of art, dating from the 1890s to the present.
As author and historian Barbara Summers notes, “Beauty is power. And the struggle to have the entire range of Black beauty recognized and respected is a serious one.” Posing Beauty invites viewers to think seriously about gorgeous photographs–to admire the self-fashioned glamour of models and beauty contestants, as well as the carefully crafted images of celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Isaac Hayes, and Marvin Hagler.
Featuring both black-and-white and color photography, celebrities, and everyday people, the vast array of photos will encourage viewers to think about beauty in political, cultural, and complex terms. Artists in the exhibition include, among others, Sheila Pree Bright, Renee Cox, Omar Victor Diop, Lola Flash, Charles “Teenie” Harris, John W. Mosley, Gordon Parks, Jamel Shabazz, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Ernest C. Withers, and lauren woods.
“There is, appropriately, a great range to this exhibition,” says, Heather Campbell Coyle, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “The historical examples highlight the ideals of beauty and strength promoted by professional portrait photographers, beauty contests, and popular magazines. Seeing these alongside the work of contemporary artists, especially those who actively critique the ongoing presentation of race and gender in American culture, will encourage viewers to consider the complex relationship between beauty and art, as well as the conversation between contemporary art and popular culture.”
Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters was directly inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections. This commissioned display presents a contemporary look at gender and identity through the lens of historic narrative art. Fraleigh’s large-scale paintings and ceramics examine notions of storytelling, role-playing, fantasy, and power dynamics in the work of Katharine Pyle, Hannah Barlow, and Marie Spartali Stillman, among others.
Fraleigh’s opulent paintings are populated by female figures freed from the social constructs of their time. No longer the despised witches of popular fairy tales or shunned agitators, these women are empowered to occupy their own utopian landscape. Fusing meticulous realism with gestural abstraction, Fraleigh constructs an immersive space in which reality merges with dreams and hallucinations.
“I uncovered so many incredible stories associated with the women in the Museum’s Pre-Raphaelite and illustration collections,” Angela Fraleigh explains. “This commissioned piece is part of a longtime project that asks: What if the female characters we’ve come to know from art history–the lounging odalisques, the chorus that whispers in the background–present more than a voyeuristic visual feast? What if these characters embody a flickering of female power at work? Can we see these ‘passive’ characters as subversive and powerful? And if we do, how might it affect women today and of the future?”
Sound the Deep Waters is a dynamic response to pieces from the Museum’s own Pre-Raphaelite and American illustration collections. These new works of art–presented in an immersive installation–will spark the curiosity of viewers already familiar with the Museum’s collection, as well as draw others in to see how historic art can impact contemporary creativity.
“Fraleigh’s work often considers how meanings are made and questions how traditional and familiar cultural narratives shape our experiences in the world. Sound the Deep Waters, encourages us to look anew at images from our own collection,” says Margaret Winslow, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum. “Viewers will have the opportunity to reconsider the pictures they thought they knew or the stories they thought they understood.”
Public Programs and Events
David Driskell Living Legacy Talk Saturday, October 20 | 2:00 p.m. This speaking tour, envisioned as a series of conversations between Professor David C. Driskell and Professor Curlee R. Holton, will provide an opportunity for audiences and communities around the country to learn about the contributions of Professor Driskell, and of African American artists, to the country’s artistic history.
Picturing Beauty: Celebrating Real Women Sunday, November 17 Picturing Beauty: Celebrating Real Women will be a free, intergenerational event featuring successful female leaders in the arts. The day will be developed in partnership with Girls, Inc., One Village Alliance, and the YWCA. The event will include a keynote address with Deborah Willis and Angela Fraleigh at 2:00 p.m.
Inside Look: Posing Beauty Friday, November 22 and Sunday, November 24 Led by a University of Delaware art history graduate student, this program includes an in-depth dialogue about a single work of art.
Black Iris Project: “A Mother’s Rite” Thursday, January 23 | 8:00 p.m. Founded in 2016 by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle that creates new, relevant classical ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. “A Mother’s Rite” is a new ballet about how a mother copes with the loss of her child to a racially-motivated murder.
Guide-Led Public Tours Saturdays and Sundays throughout the run of Posing Beauty | 2:00 p.m.
Posing Beauty in African American Culture is curated by Deborah Willis and organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. This exhibition is sponsored by M&T Bank and made possible in Delaware by Mary G. Heiser in memory of her son, Scott T. Heiser, the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund, WSFS, and Delmarva. Both Posing Beauty and Angela Fraleigh: Sound the Deep Waters are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
About the Delaware Art Museum
For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most important Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.
Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media. Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806