Artists are our collective hand and heart, and also our eye, and our voice. But the singular eye is many eyes, and there is no singular voice, but many voices. The creative spirit, it seems, has as many creative ‘hands’ as there are creative people. Artists today work in a dizzying variety of styles, genres, and media, and a painter or sculptor in Philadelphia might just as well be influenced by an artist from halfway around the world as by a neighbor. Organized by the Michener Art Museum, these two exhibits celebrate this incredible diversity among living artists, while also seeking connections that lie, often unseen, just beneath the turbulent surface of the contemporary art world. Both exhibitions were created from submissions by some of the finest and most accomplished artists in the Philadelphia region, using the experience and skills of both Michener curatorial staff and two distinguished curatorial consultants, writer and independent curator Judith E. Stein and Judith Tannenbaum, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design.
The first exhibition presents the artist as seeker, storyteller, observer, and dreamer. Most of these artists begin and end with themselves as principle reference point, and their work becomes an exploration both of self as self, and self in relation to or affected by the ‘outside’ world.