Morris Arts and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation are proud to present the twenty-fourth exhibit, SHIFTING GROUND, in the Gallery at 14 Maple. Guest curator, Jeanne Brasile (Director of the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University) selected works by six outstanding artists (painting, mixed media, fabric art, and sculpture) for display at the Gallery, a distinctive space located on the 3rd floor of the LEED certified “green” building at 14 Maple Ave., Morristown.
The diverse and distinguished group of New Jersey artists, including Anonda Bell (Montclair), Martin Calvino (Highland Park), Hao Feng (Summit), Valerie Huhn (Summit), Troy Jones (Jersey City), and Danielle Scott (Plainfield), addresses the theme of the show, SHIFTING GROUND – using their unique artistic voices to examine elements of the strange and difficult times in which we live.
L-R: Danielle Scott’s The Floods of Fear; Hao Feng’s Laughter In the Dark 1; Anonda Bell’s The Suburbs at 4am, #B
Guest Curator Jeanne Brasile shares her insights about the approach of each artist in her Curator’s Essay on the exhibit:
Hao Feng created a series of mixed media works that reflect directly on people’s experiences of the pandemic, particularly isolation and its effects. In his series of weavings, Martin Calvino also addresses lived experience during the pandemic by literally writing crowd-sourced personal narratives onto slips of paper then weaving them into the weft of each piece. The Black Lives Matter movement gained urgency as a rash of racially motivated crimes and killings catalyzed protests throughout the country. Danielle Scott traces current events to the brutal legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impact on present-day America. Her work explores its multifarious effects through the layering of text, image and three-dimensional objects that dissect colonialism’s harsh legacy. Troy Jones paints portraits of Black resilience. His subjects wear West African masks while unapologetically meeting the gaze of the viewer, emphasizing Black power and beauty. Feminist themes occupy Anonda Bell’s prints which explore difficult truths about women in contemporary society… Invoking the past to speak about the present, Bell uses metaphorical objects; lace, framework, idealized female bodies, medical instruments and flies to investigate sexist tropes… Dreary, surreal and often disturbing, we get glimpses of women, domestic settings and quotidian objects residing in indeterminate spaces.
And, in response to concerns about the manipulation of personal data, Valerie Huhn’s works – made from her obsessive applications of her own fingerprints in brightly colored paints arranged in elaborate patterns simultaneously reveal and obscure the sinister content of contemporary surveillance society.
L-R: Troy Jones’ Keep on Fighting #3; Valerie Huhn’s Migrations 1; Martin Calvino’s Interlaced Objects No. 1.
The art in this exhibit presents multiple perspectives while confronting some of the urgent narratives of life in our tense and worrisome times. The works examine the impacts of an international pandemic, as well as larger societal questions of equality, selfhood, and justice, with which we all are dealing. The exhibit captures the uncertainties and “shifting ground” of modern life. When will life feel more settled and stabile? As Jeanne Brasile so aptly concludes in her essay, “Perhaps it is wise to recall ‘the only constant in life is change.’”
Here’s a glimpse of the exhibit being installed, with comments by Curator Jeanne Brasile:
Free visitation to the gallery exhibit is by appointment only. The exhibit will remain on display until August 22, 2022. The Gallery at 14 Maple is a barrier-free facility. Individuals needing special accommodations should contact Jenna Castano, ADA Coordinator at (973) 285-5115, x 12 or firstname.lastname@example.org.