On April 22, 2017, the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD will open four new exhibitions featuring both nationally and internationally-known artists. Three of the exhibitions will be the first solo exhibitions for the artists in the U.S. Anke Van Wagenberg, Senior Curator at the Academy Art Museum, comments, “We are proud to offer these exceptional artists their first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. and are excited to be a part of their thriving careers.”
The exhibition, FABRICation, is making its way around the country, coming to the Academy Art Museum by way of University of Nevada-Reno, Sheppard Contemporary and University Galleries, Reno, NV. Co-curated by Reni Gower, professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University and Kristy Deetz, professor in the Art Discipline at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, FABRICation features seven artists (Erin Castellan, Kristy Deetz, Virginia Derryberry, Reni Gower, Rachel Hayes, Susan Iverson and Natalie Smith) who incorporate a textile sensibility in their artwork through elements of fabric and fabrication. Funding for FABRICation, which closes on July 9, was made possible in part by Virginia Commonwealth University, VCUarts, and the Painting and Printmaking Department.
The exhibition, Parts and Labor: A Survey Exhibition of Print and Collage Works by Steven Ford, is Steven Ford’s first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. Ford, who studied glass and painting at Washington University in St Louis, MO, received a BFA in painting and printmaking at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia in 1986. Ford layers colors via simply carved linocut blocks and collagraph plates. The linocut blocks are often re-inked and reprinted with the paper shifted to create layering and cross hatched patterns. The collagraph plates print “real” textures from items such as popsicle sticks and lathe from old plaster walls. Ford works quickly, rolling ink onto the blocks and cranking them through an etching press. At times the thin, strong Asian papers are folded like an accordion bellows and printed, then flattened and printed some more. The exhibition is sponsored by Steven Ford’s gallery, Dolan/Maxwell in Philadelphia. After it closes at the Academy Art Museum on July 9, the exhibition will travel to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA.
Internationally-known sculptor Shelley Robzen will present Luminous Forms: Marble and Bronze Sculpture by Shelley Robzen, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. Originally from Pennsylvania, Robzen studied Fine Arts at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY where she received her BFA in sculpture in 1974. After graduation, she moved to Pietrasanta, Italy, an international center for sculptors who work in marble and bronze. She has been living and working there ever since. She came to Pietrasanta determined to learn everything she could about marble. Robzen’s sculpture is amazing in its purity and its celebration of beauty and craftsmanship. She has a perfect sense of form, volume and line. Her marble and bronze sculptures are sensual and sensitive. They are pared down to an essential simplicity as her artist statement reads, “Simplicity of line seeking the purity of form is the essence of my sculpture.” Robzen is represented by Carla Massoni Gallery.
Finally, the Museum will feature the photographs of Todd R. Forsgren in Todd Forsgren: Birdwatcher and Ecologist. Forsgren uses photography to examine themes of ecology, environmentalism, and perceptions of landscape while striving to strike a balance between art history and natural history. To do so, he uses a range of photographic approaches, from documentary strategies to experimental techniques. Forsgren’s ornithological photographs depict birds that have been caught in mist nets as part of scientific surveys and ornithological research. Today, many bird-watchers share a similar goal to the famous bird painter, John James Audubon: to record every species in the country on their personal “life lists.” He resides in Alexandria, VA. The exhibition, which is his first solo museum exhibition, will be on display through June 30, 2017. Forsgren states, “My photographs are a reflection on this need to personally see, observe, and capture diversity.”
These Academy Art Museum exhibitions are generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Star-Democrat. There will be curator-led tours for the exhibitions on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 12 noon. For further information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call 410-822-2787.