As the homework begins to pile up from your new set of classes and you’re wondering what there is to do around campus to get your mind off the tediousness of scholastic achievement; or just looking for a good excuse to procrastinate, you can head on down to the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
Featuring new exhibits by artists Danica Phelps and Joan Tanner, each of these artists has their own distinct style that will immerse you into two separate worlds. One where color is free to move about the canvas wherever it pleases, and another that serves as a microscope into the world around you.
Danica Phelps is a New York based conceptual and visual artist known for her pencil drawings. Her exhibit “Hoping to Help” is located in the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk, Sr. Gallery on the first floor of the museum. Danica has been in the art scene since 1995 when she made her debut in New York City.
Her personal life has always been her inspiration. In “Hoping to Help”, we get a glimpse at life through her eyes as she finds the beauty in everyday occurrences we take for granted like a row of faucets called “Water for Everyone” and two hands holding a bag that is simply captioned “Groceries”.
Color is absent from her work in this installment rendering every drawing transparent, which encourages you to stop and consider each frame, dissecting each line as they cross and form the bigger picture. This translucency also showcases how we get so used to these menial objects that we seem to look right through as if they don’t exist.
My personal favorite from her collection is a picture of a car that slammed into a wall. At first I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at, but after studying it I made out the car as part of the wreck. I had yet to look at the title which is “Insurance Deductible for Backing into a Brick Wall.” Out of all her titles this one grabbed my attention the most because of how it gave the simple picture of an accident a story. The first thing you think of when you see an accident is “Did anyone get hurt?” the last thing that would have ran through my mind would be the insurance cost. I was amused at how realistic the title was compared to what I would expect to be something more dramatic from what looked to be quite a serious accident. Danica Phelps will be visiting the Weatherspoon February 23 to discuss her work, her talk will begin at 6 PM.
Joan Tanners exhibit, right next door in the Leah Louise B. Tannenbaum Gallery. She has been working steadily since 1958 with an eclectic style in her body of art with drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs. Her 2013 art titled “donottellmewhereibelong” gives you a look into the abstract mind of an artist. Meticulous drawings of broad-based objects with paint seemingly smeared over them.
Each color she chooses provokes a different emotion that gives the drawing feeling as well as being aesthetically pleasing. One specific work that caught my eye was number 24, on the canvas is a drawing of a book open with the spine up covered lightly in red and ever so slightly yellow. It gives an aggressive tone that sums up the title.
As kids we were always told to color in the lines, in each of her pieces the paint is never within the confines of the drawing, it always leaks out or even sometimes halfway covers it. Almost personifying the color as if it’s saying “Do not tell me where I belong” then moving itself right out of the lines. The red in #24 gives off the assertive feeling that the one would have after years of being forced in the lines and finally being free.
Joan will also be a visiting artist, having her talk on Thursday Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.
“Hoping to Help” and “donottellmewhereibelong” will both be open until April 9 leaving plenty of time to explore the Weatherspoon and observe these wonderful and meaningful art pieces.