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January 28th, 2008
Challenge #4 Continues the 30th Season of Juried Exhibitions at Fleisher

The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial presents the fourth 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 #4 features photography by Judy Gelles, installations by Erica Zoe Loustau, and Shelley Spector.

Challenge #4 opens on Friday, February 15th, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and continues through March 15th. 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, March 1st from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., artist/teacher Mary Murphy will lead the Challenge “TalkAbout,” an in-depth dialogue between Challenge artists and the audience. Admission is free.

Judy Gelles is using photography to examine the Philadelphia population through the lens of ten couples who reflect the diversity and complex nature of Philadelphia. Each couple was asked to describe his or her partner, talk about dreams, wishes, concerns, worries, disappointments, and what they like to do together. In this collaborative series, her intent is to focus on what is behind the typical smiling portrait, the back stage rather than the front stage. The images are blurred while the text is in focus. The blurred portrait draws the viewer in, the text brings them into focus. At that point, one discovers their uniqueness and their universality. Ms. Gelles received her M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Erica Zoë Loustau’s “Rapunzel’s Longing” is a mixed media sculptural installation depicting a dramatic moment in a revised version of the well known fairy tale, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair”. Instead of obeying the command, Rapunzel unfurls her hair and takes drastic action in response to her captivity. The installation of suspended mixed media elements is designed to wrap the viewer into the same space as the work. The flock of foreboding birds appears to float in a swirling volume through the gallery. The metaphorical work explores the ambiguity of our own psychological landscape where sometimes the line between longing and reality blur. Ms. Zoe Loustau received her B.A. from Hampshire College and her M.F.A. from The University of Pennsylvania.

Shelley Spector’s pieces are playful in spirit and filled with political satire. She works in wood along with other materials, mostly found or reclaimed, then incorporates motors and music into the pieces. She states, “With my newest work I continue to work in this vein while I explore themes of popular culture, interpersonal relationships and contemporary ideals.” Ms. Spector studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received her B.F.A. at the University of the Arts.


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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