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December 4th, 2007
Fleisher Challenge #3 continues the 30th season of juried exhibitions, featuring Billy Blaise Dufala and Steven Dufala, Laura Haight, and Jury Smith

The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial presents the third exhibition in the 30th season of the four-part Wind Challenge Exhibitions at Fleisher—the Delaware Valley’s premier juried artist exhibition program. This season’s twelve Challenge artists were selected from a field of 273 applicants to exhibit in one of four three-person exhibitions. Challenge #3 features installations created by artist team Billy Blaise Dufala and Steven Dufala, Laura M. Haight, and ceramic sculpture by Jury Smith.

Challenge #3 opens on Friday, January 11th, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and continues through February 9th. Both the exhibition and the opening reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additional gallery hours – starting February 5 – are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday.

On Saturday, February 9th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., artist/teacher Mary Murphy will lead the Challenge “TalkAbout,” an in-depth dialogue with Challenge artists and audience. Admission is free.

The artist team of Billy Blaise Dufala and Steven Dufala addresses issues ranging from homelessness to genetic engineering. Steven states, “We hope to provide a commentary on the strangeness of culture using the iconography of technology and violence.” In their installation the Dufala brothers will use examples of lawn ornamentation such as holiday decoration and topiary to offer a critique on how the ugly is made beautiful, and the beautiful hides the ugly or becomes ugly itself through excess. Both Billy Blaise Dufala and Steven Dufala received their certificates from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Through her sculpture installations, Laura Haight examines growth and change as natural phenomena. Haight’s installation at Fleisher will challenge perceptions of art and science by showing instances of electromagnetic fungus growing from various parts of the body. Ms. Haight received her B.F.A. from California State University, Fullerton, and her M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Jury Smith presents us with robust earthenware forms combined with sensuous glazes that are both pleasing to the eye and to the touch. The objects suggest rock-like forms, but at times imply the fragility of eggs. Smith makes us aware of the element of tension both in the forms and their placement in space, so that each sculpture appears to be caught in a state of suspended animation. Ms. Smith received both her B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.


The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial is widely known as the country’s oldest free and low-tuition visual arts program for adults and children. Founded as the Graphic Sketch Club in 1898, Fleisher has been a vital educational resource that includes instruction in the visual arts, a vibrant exhibitions program, and youth outreach programming at public schools and community centers throughout Philadelphia. Visit www.fleisher.org to learn more.
Fleisher exhibition programs are supported in part by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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