Behind each work of art is an untold story, history or process. This exhibition celebrates the often unseen narrative of an artwork by allowing artists to exhibit their artwork in our online gallery alongside accompanying text.
Any and all mediums are welcome with a descriptive text of any kind. A painting with an artist statement. A sculpture with a description. A print with a poem. Submissions will be added to our Online Gallery on rolling basis until July 1st 2020.
This online exhibition is only accepting artwork from current Abington Art Center Members and recent students. If you are uncertain about your membership status or if you qualify, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be Rain
Patricia Shaw Lima
Part of a series about the meaning of the word home, the layered
monotype There will be Rain is one of many that include my
hometown, Philadelphia. This piece was started before knowledge of
the pandemic was public and completed during the early days of
isolation. As the layers of ink were applied throughout that time
period, the image gradually took on a moody, underlying sense of
dread. Although I am an optimist, the sense of uncertainty and
underlying anxiety is ever present.
This layered monotype began with making sketches which were hand
cut into stencils. Images were painted onto a slab of plexiglas and
ink applied to the stencils. The plexiglas and stencils were printed
together on an etching press. The stencils and plexiglas were
repeatedly inked with varying color for multiple passes through the
press until the layers of ink on paper build the final image.
A Twist of Fate
Gouache, Pen, Acrylic and Paper on Board
Kathleen Vaccaro’s newest work mixes imagery from American film noir, imagination, and memory. This body of work ties together images from the past and Vaccaro’s present day life experiences. This work also explores the femme fatale, one of the first strong character types for women in films.
The works that focus especially on facial features are a combination of the beauty and intelligence found in the femme fatale character, the brilliance and strength of the actresses (both on and off screen), and the current women’s movement. The striking, empowering makeup many women wear today is a modern form of warrior paint. It connects to other powerful female archetypes like the femme fatale. This modern makeup seems to primarily be a source of strength, or a reminder of strength, for the person wearing it, rather than a way to seduce others. The difference between the femme fatale of the 1940s and 1950s and powerful female characters today is in how we choose to characterize them. The femme fatale is powerful because she is inherently evil and seductive. The femme fatale connects to mythological characters like Medusa, the sirens, and the sphinx. Today, enthralling female characters do not need to be evil or to rely on their appearance to be strong and effective.
In this body of work, imagery is taken out of context in order to connect viewers specifically to the romance, and occasional heroism found in American film noir, and to let them reflect on contemporary ideas of romance and heroism. For Vaccaro, this body of work connects to her grandparents’ generation and captures the fading away of this generation. Against the backdrop of WWII, romance and morality became individualistic and complicated. Today, many people can relate to film noir’s dangerous, disillusioned world punctuated by bright moments of selflessness and love. Vaccaro is interested in capturing the flickering light and the disintegrating romantic images in old film noir. Inkjet printers and computer software allow her to combine film stills, photographs and materials in a way that is unique to the time in which we live. By including photo transfers in the work, she lets go of some of the control and includes the element of surprise. The process of making her artwork – the searching, experimenting, and synthesizing, is how her ideas and emotions enter the work. To be direct, she views painting and drawing as one. The film imagery is often destroyed, simplified and changed as a piece develops. Vaccaro’s love for paint and ink is evident in her work.
An Ordinary Life – Autobiography
1940 Logan, Philadelphia
1961 Oak Lane, Philadelphia
1963 Cheltenham, PA
2008 Willow Grove, PA
Hands on…Mother and Child Embracing I
…. Fingers reaching out …. almost, but not always touching …. my daughter’s
firm shoulder blades, my granddaughter’s long curly hair, my grandson’s
extended hand …. and Stan’s stubby, bulky, warm hands. How very vital to
feel wanted, loved, celebrated! With fingers outstretched …. clasped together,
made into a fist …. I feel the sensations …. comfort, anger, gratification. For
shaping the hand creates who I am. In my monotypes and acrylic paintings the
curve, rhythmic movement and elongated fingers are grasping for love …. or
like Michelangelo`s Adam: “The spark of Life”.
Joan Myerson Shrager
I have been remarking on contrasting interpretations of the current crisis, groups calling required face masks and quarantine, nazism and adherents to these safety measures calling their gun toting, swastika-bearing opponents, nazis. The irony continues with such a beautiful springtime juxtaposed against the rising national death count. So, Springtime was birthed with a light in color, happy design, coupled with the words of Mel Brooks’ sinfully delightful song, Springtime for Hitler.
Springtime for Hitler and Germany
Deutschland is happy and gay
We’re marching to a faster pace
Here comes the master race
Still Life (After Juan Sánchez Cotán)
Oil on panel
I’ve been working on a series of paintings where most everything
in the image is drained of color save for one thing.
This forces viewers to distinguish the subjects by shape, light and shadow.
The one thing in color is a great contrast and emphasizes the other objects lack of it.
This piece, “Still Life ( After Juan Sanchez Cotan )”
is an homage to the 17th century Spanish artist’s painting, “Quince, Cabbage,
Melon and Cucumber.”
Most artists of that time were dealing with religious figures and royalty. (Fruits and vegetables were mostly depicted as decorative and ‘background.’)
Cotan’s spareness and graceful and dramatic composition was unlike the style of the day. He was a master of elevating simple objects to a higher stature where reality is intensified.
I recreated this still life by ‘whitening’ and arranging the same produce,
and painting it in the same lighting and measurements – only in an a chromic version.
The Symphony of Cacophony
Francis dreamed of attending the symphony of cacophony. An abstract owl led the orchestra of mechanized insect zombies. With a start, he woke up in a commuter bus scrawling through dawn rush hour traffic. His fellow passengers were the worker ants holding lunch lumps of sugar. Giant beetles marched on around the bus in a marvelous order. Shaking, Francis woke up again. Looking around the room, he wondered if it was safe to go out.
Batik Painting on Silk | 2019
This painting is based on a drawing I made while at an artists’ residency in Blonduos, Iceland in 2017. Iceland has a vibrant history of myths and legendary creatures which must have invaded my psyche. When I returned I expanded it from the small page of my sketchbook and added more elements.
This is a very large piece and is currently hanging in my solo exhibition which has never been seen by anyone outside of The Hill at Whitemarsh. The shutdown happened days before the opening reception was scheduled. It had been shown before at Goggleworks in Reading but I was so looking forward to having my friends, families, students, colleagues, and maybe some new fans see it with me.
I am very proud of all the work in the show that may never be seen and, as all artists know, it is so gratifying to see a large body of work shown together. There is a vitrine in the gallery space there with the amazing figurative, functional ceramic pieces by Meri Adelman, also.
I am trying to keep working in my studio at home but most of my supplies are locked up in the studio where I was teaching. The building is closed. I remain truly thankful I can keep drawing and painting and returning to old mediums and methods.
Austin Found a Robin’s Skull
Austin Holds a Robin’s Skull
My grandson’s small hand.
The discovery of death.
The circle of life.
Collage | 2020
It is sometimes surprising how you and your work can be overtaken by events. When I was printing the background and assembling the collage pieces for KIRKLAND the corona virus problem was just starting to be a story and I had no idea that Kirkland, WA would be one of the epicenters. The title for KIRKLAND actually comes from the fact that “Kirkland” is the house brand name used by Costco and the collage pieces are repurposed from a Costco tissue box. What was initially an exercise in combining a hand inked, hand pulled print and found object/recycled materials ended up with more relevance than I could have imagined.
What’s in Your Fridge?
I started the refrigerator series last year in response to animal slaughter and consumption. This is the second one in the series.