The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial presents the final exhibition in the twenty-ninth season of the four-part Wind Challenge Series at Fleisher – the Delaware Valley’s premier juried artist exhibition program. This season’s twelve Challenge artists were selected from a field of nearly 330 applicants to exhibit in one of four three-person exhibitions. The last of this season’s Challenge exhibitions features the work of artists Susan Abrams, Elaine Erne, and Nami Yamamoto.
The Challenge 4 exhibition begins with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 16, and continues through March 17. Both the exhibition and the opening reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; additional hours are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday (closed March 15).
The installation by Susan Abrams was inspired by a visit to Lhasa, Tibet, during the spring of 2001. The ubiquitous prayer flags and scarves given as ritual offerings or welcome gifts in both Tibet and Nepal inspired the presentation of Abrams’s photographs. Each portrait is printed on silk coated with light sensitive silver emulsion. The quality of silk captures the spirit of the people and places as well as the diffusion of light at such a high elevation. The work is a tribute to all the people she encountered and to their dignity despite difficult circumstances. Ms. Abrams received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. from Bryn Mawr College.
Elaine M. Erne’s series The Lives and Traumas of Stuffed Animals is a collection of large graphite pencil drawings and prints. The toys she depicts are presented as allegories for children and their fears. In Erne’s images of recurring distressful situations, children become like dolls, putting forward a cheerful personae in order to survive. Though the circumstances represented are not real, they capture the aura that surrounds a person who has no control. By appearance, an abused child is like a doll, always appearing happy, but in reality experiencing deep pain, sorrow and fear. Ms Erne received her B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and her M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
Nami Yamamoto has been a collector of small objects throughout her life, having amassed a disparate group of hundreds of natural and man-made objects linked by a personal taxonomy. These objects – be they small toys or seedpods – serve as visual resources and inspiration for Yamamoto’s artistic projects. Her current art practice continues this process, though one step removed; Yamamoto now composes colored paper silhouettes derived from the objects. Her current project, Miniature Garden, plays with the notion of distillation as a way of allowing the forms to be experienced in an altered, idealized state. This process is much like that of a scientist exploring the various permutations of their subject. Ms. Yamamoto received her B.F.A. from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts, Japan, and her M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Artist/teacher Mary Murphy will lead the Challenge "TalkAbout" gallery discussion on Saturday, March 3, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Concurrent with Challenge 4, Kate Kern Mundie will present recent landscape paintings in the Faculty Gallery, while Hanna Aufschauer displays recent drawings and prints in the Student Gallery.