Sunday, September 30, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Nancy E. F. Halbert

I am a kinetic learner.  I was sent to dance classes for most of my childhood.  My next-door neighbor who had two daughters was a graduate in Dance from Ohio State University.  My father had never heard of such a major. When I was a junior in high school, my father had found my neighbor inside her car in her locked garage, dead, an unfortunate suicide leaving her girls and me lost and confused.  She was my first mentor.  I studied dance from her.  I was determined to go to Ohio State University to study dance as she had.  My father still did not understand the point, but let me go in spite of the odds of never landing a job upon graduation.

As it turns out, I did not complete the dance program. I had my first back incident when I fell on stage and ruptured a disc. I needed surgery and when I returned to school, I found myself in the Art Department knowing I could never study anything, but the arts.  I did not think of myself as a drawer or painter, I was a choreographer.  I used line, form, time, and shape to develop a unified composition as tools to create dances.  It was then that I discovered how similar the principles and elements were in creating a painting or a dance, except a dance is gone in a moment, a flash of a camera’s shutter remains with videos only seen by relatives.  A painting can last a very long time, and may be appreciated by a much larger audience.  I ended up staying in the Fine Arts Department creating a major that OSU did not yet have, an Arts Administration Degree.  My father, of course, understood that.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Barbara Schaff

The Pink Dress
As a child, I grew up admiring images of Goya, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Chinese calligraphy. The then new abstractions of Franz Klein, DeKooning, and Jackson Pollock resonated with me as a teenager.

Since the beginning of my creative career in the Early 70’s, I have been following one basic thread of an idea: the search for moving line.  

Forty years ago, I began this search as a self taught potter: first finding that line in three dimensions with the raising of a spinning mass on the potters wheel. Later as I worked with porcelain on two dimensional murals with color and brush , the avenues for line exploration multiplied (Tao).
I transitioned to painting ,earning a Certificate from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1994. There, under the mentorship of Seymour Remenick, I learned to work intuitively, trusting in the gesture, the color and the line to discover the unknown. I also received a firm grounding in the singular importance of drawing. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Marissa Georgiou

Detail image of Four Hour Drawing
My piece in Woodmere's 71st Annual Juried Exhibition is from a series of works called Endurance Drawings. Rather than being images of a subject, these drawings are documentation of the effort that went into their existence.  For these works, I prick the paper with a pushpin for varying durations of time. 

The holes are placed as closely as can be accomplished without destroying the fiber of the paper. Through concentrated effort, these objects illustrate a level of closeness that is just at the edge of mutual destruction. 

For me, Endurance Drawings are meditations on the idea of intimacy, a common theme in many of my projects.  

The piece on view at Woodmere can be seen as a drawing, or as documentation of a performance. Similarly, my recent projects Device for Social Climbing and Intimacy Training Device I have dual functionality as sculptures and objects for physical interaction.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Michael Bartmann

Structure, Process, Time
My process begins long before any paint hits the canvas. I begin by exploring an inspirational location and visit many times before starting. I am drawn to non-designed, left-over places. When I was young, I spent a greater amount of time playing in and exploring the vacant lots rather than the professionally designed playgrounds. 

As an artist, I am still drawn to those abandoned, derelict spaces where the imagination is free to roam. It's the lack of obvious beauty and not knowing where these spaces will lead me artistically that draws me to them. After visiting several times I paint on site and explore the site through the lens of a camera. I also research the history of the site and look for any old photographs. I do all of this "getting to know the site" in order to allow a more personal artistic vision to develop rather than just capturing it's essence. After getting to know the site, I than move the ideas into the studio to further remove myself from it's innate meaning. I like the idea of the painting being "site-specific", but I want it to evolve into something more personal with a new "sense of place." 

Monday, September 24, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Richard Forrest

Time Remembered
I attended the Philadelphia Museum School, now the University of the Arts, in the early 1950s graduating in 1956. We had very good teachers, and I still remember the benefit from some of their suggestions and advice. Watercolor seemed an easy fit for me although there were many efforts that fell far short.  However, that’s what school is for; my learning continues on even now.
To back up a bit, I should give credit to my Lower Merion High school art teacher, William Bahmermann, who encouraged me early on. Without his encouragement, It would not have occurred to me to try for art school. Again, the teacher.  How important they can be.
Philadelphia was, and still is, a very walkable city. Things seemed on a much smaller scale back then.  There were numerous side streets rife with subject matter for our class outings.  Manayunk, too, was another viable spot.

Monday, September 17, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Patrick Crofton

Alex, oil on three copper panels, 6 x 6 inches
I trained originally in South Africa as a graphic designer, and a lot of the restrictions of the adverising industry - extremely small scale, random cropping and folding, translation of color images into monochrome - I've tended to retain in my work. Much of my painting is done on metal panels, which I like not only for their contemporary feeling, but also for the historical association: the Romans made exquisite miniature portraits painted on gold and covered with glass, and Dutch artists prized copper as a smooth surface impervious to damp or warping.

After working in advertising for many years, first in Cape Town then New York,  I moved to Philadelphia to study painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I'm now represented here by Artists' House Gallery in Old City.

Most of the panels I use for painting are zinc and copper etching plates, although I've also used steel. I sometimes treat the plates with acid for a textured, corroded surface but usually I sand for a slight key for retention, and then use either a transparent lacquer or an opaque aerosol metal primer depending on whether I want the metal exposed. The plates are cut to size on a jump shear and reassembled for the image to be transferred. My portraits are always based on my own photographs which I've either then redrawn or manipulated in Photoshop. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Beth Shapiro Prusky

Playing with materials is an integral part of the beginning of some of my work. The delicious looseness of the acrylic paint as the it mixes with water. I know the formulas. They are old friends to me. 

Wonderfully, each time there is a freshness for me in how the brush carries the paint. Decisions about Mars black or Panye's grey give me deep satisfaction in the choosing. The mediums when added to the paint all have a signature like a finger print, it becomes an intensely personal adventure.

As I begin to explore a new idea I don't categorize a work as a drawing or painting. The final pieces are all drawings/paintings to me. My intention to create a painting on any particular day in the studio becomes subservient as the form emerges. 

The drawing comes in as needed, at the right time. Sometimes the emotion of subject as the form emerges dictates where I move next. This more than anything helps to move the process.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Mikel Elam

Labyrinth by Mikel Elam
The basis of my work is about identity, perception, race, and gender contrast. This narrative began for me as I evolved into adulthood and began to place myself within the spectrum of the world. Asking the question: Just how do I fit into this complex society?

I try to implement language and varying degrees of structure and deconstruction into my work and use the figure as a way of communicating information. I like to think of my work as a painted collage--a mirage of mixed emotions wrapped into some representation of the figurative world.

I don't always have the opportunity to work with a model so I use myself, photographs, and collected images that resonate with my thought process. The process is like making music or writing poetry. Sometimes I think several combinations of pigment and tools will work only to find an altered solution later. A lot occurs between the technical and my mind's eye.

I start with an idea that speaks to me. Sometimes I will draw out the concept on paper but I prefer going directly to canvas or board with brush and paint, allowing this action to be my working sketch. I am looking for spontaneity between the paint and other elements and like to incorporated different materials such as drawing tools, spray paint, oil, acrylic, enamels, and more. I also use tracings and incorporate images from previous renderings. The experimental occurs often. Everything comes together and the painting becomes a dreamscape to me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Amanda Rombach

THE SCALE, Collaborative mural painted for the Santa Fe Community.
Artists: Natessa Amin, Amanda Dunham, Britt Kuechenmeister, AJ Rombach
I recently returned from a month-long-road-trip across the country. This marks my second trip in ten months, totaling in over 17,000 miles of traveled terrain. In addition to the healthy break I needed from my Philadelphia routine, these two journeys served as business trips in which I painted five independent murals and four group murals in New Orleans, Santa Fe, Minneapolis and Wolfeboro, NH.

The two trips have inevitably informed much of my work.  Many of the spaces and forms that take shape within my paintings and drawings, I have seen somewhere else, out there on the grid, on the field, --somewhere out there.

Monday, August 20, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Cynthia Harvey

My art is largely an intuitive process incorporating different textures, colors, shapes and forms. It typically occurs organically with minimal planning and a lot of reactive decisions. They are often made quickly, sometimes only discovered after setting it aside for a period of time, then bringing it out again to look at with a fresh eye.
When I bring the painting out again, I can either continue with what I have going, or allow it to morph into new shapes and objects, turning it sideways or upside-down. I’ll often realize it’s not working at all and then paint over a good portion of it. I will still allow small sections of the previous layer to show through, giving me new potential forms to play with.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Roger Chavez

Untitled Still life #11, 2012 by Roger Chavez
In the past three years, I have returned to painting the still-life.

For me, the subject matter serves as a point of departure, allowing me to find my own forms through exploring the subject. The immediate accessibility of the still-life facilitates my focus on the objects themselves, their shadows, shapes, and the space they occupy.

In my process, I focus on the same object(s) over an extended period of time. In working on one subject over this stretch of time, the physical arrangement of the subject is not based upon a scheme for a potential source of new visual information, but to confront the subject matter as a whole.  Thus, the placement of the objects rarely changes, and this provides an environment to discover something new within the same objects and the space around them.  Each attempt to paint my subject matter becomes new and different. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Nicole Michaud

What The Past Tells Us by Nicole Michaud
I consider my work to be primarily conceptual, with symbolic and process elements. Since I rarely have a complete vision of the finished work before beginning, I find it important to work in a medium such as oils, gouache, or collage. This allows me to layer and change the work as it progresses and inspires me. 

I work both with and without initial studies and combine painting from life with printed and found reference materials (old photographs, patterns, books, etc.). 

The original imagery is developed over several weeks, and I generally work on more than one painting at a time in order to allow for drying and the next intuitive step to reveal itself. Occasionally, I will work from a completely abstract ground, and respond to the work until the final imagery becomes clear.  Other times, I will begin with a primary reference or set-up and make additions and alterations, adding and removing features as the painting progresses. I also remove paint from the surface by sanding, scraping, or rubbing.

I find it useful to work in groups or a series, which allows me to come at a concept from multiple directions, or explore variations to fully engage in a topic. I often combine organic and inorganic forms, personal narrative, and pattern to symbolize the ways in which our lives, nature, the products of our modern world, dogmas, or other guiding forces collide and interrelate. With this series, I have incorporated landscapes modified from my personal history, representational and abstract spaces, and geometric forms. In these works, the geometric elements represent for me guiding forces, veiled messages, and generational patterns.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Deb Strong Napple

What is a printmaker?
by Deb Strong Napple

A printmaker is someone who makes prints, right?

But what does that mean?

As a fine artist who works both in oil painting and printmaking, I have had many conversations start with these questions. When someone meets a painter they know that they are talking with an artist who applies pigments to a canvas in order to make a unique image. They are often not aware that a printmaker does the same thing but uses wood, metal, carving tools, acids, inks, and rollers instead of brushes, knives and paint.

Let's start with a few things that I, as a printmaker, do not do:
  • Make photographic or scanner based copies of paintings or drawings.
  • Reproduce works made by other artists.
  • Use machines to produce large quantities of identical images.
  • Click an icon to make a print.

Monday, July 23, 2012

71st Annual Juried Exhibition: Jeff Gola

Liquors by Jeff Gola
I consider my style as expressive realism. It’s a way of working that approaches a certain refinement in some areas but still does not hide the hand of the artist. Although I’ve been painting and drawing for most of my life in a variety of mediums, I’ve been using egg tempera as my primary medium for about 12 years.  I’m drawn to its clarity of color, its crispness and the meditative process that suits my temperament. 

Egg tempera is really not the medium for the quick, momentary impulse.  The process is slow and requires going over the same area many times, crosshatching the quick drying paint in many layers to develop form and to bring out the optical qualities that the medium is known for. Because of that and my attraction to scenes of fleeting light effects, I work on my tempera paintings in the studio, using my personal photos and often pencil sketches with notes. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jury Selects Winners for Take a Seat! On View at Morris Arboretum and Woodmere Art Museum

Tropical Adirondeco by Murrie Gayman
At a reception held at Woodmere Art Museum on May 21st, winners of the collaborative Morris Arboretum-Woodmere exhibit, Take a Seat! were announced.  Forty artists are included in the Take a Seat! exhibition, and 70 Adirondack chairs will be on display at Woodmere Art Museum and throughout Morris Arboretum’s 92-acre garden from May 31st through Labor Day, September 3rd.

The variety of disciplines and talent on display in the art form of the classic Adirondack chair is impressive.

First prize went to Murrie Gayman for his vibrant Tropical AdironDeco chairs and accompanying footstool. Gayman graduated cum laude from the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1958.  After successful careers designing interiors, fabrics and wall coverings, he began a new venture in the 1990s creating huge murals for public spaces utilizing scraps of antique barn wood.  His work can be seen in many prominent Bucks County buildings, at the Pennsylvania Visitors Welcome Center in Susquehanna County, and at the historic Moland House in Warwick Township.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Woodmere welcomes Matthew J. Palczynski and acquires work by Modernist painter Arthur B. Carles

Woodmere Art Museum welcomes Matthew J. Palczynski as its new curator. Palczynski, who most recently held the position of Staff Lecturer for Western Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, received his Ph.D. from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art with a dissertation on the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko. He specializes in art of the 20th and 21st centuries, and continues to teach courses in relation to this period at Tyler.

“We had over 80 candidates for the position,” says William R. Valerio, the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum, “and Matt was the best fit for Woodmere. His superlative credentials as an art historian, coupled with his experience in museum education will support Woodmere’s commitment to making connections between our visitors and our great collections of the art of Philadelphia.”

“This is a city with a long history of art and a thriving art scene,” says Palczynski. “More and more young artists are choosing to live and work in Philadelphia, and I am thrilled to be part of an institution that is dedicated specifically to exploring and interpreting this new vitality. At the same time, there are so many established artists in the region, and I look forward to giving these artists the greater attention they deserve.”