Tuesday, February 7

An afternoon at Abington

After a Sunday afternoon volunteering at Fleisher's Print Love-in (Valentine printmaking!), I managed to get up to Abington Arts Center to see the opening of their solo series exhibit.
 Colleen McCubbin Stepanic's work commands the largest gallery. I had the pleasure of seeing these pieces grow in her studio over the past few months, but even so, the scale of her final triangle piece stunned me. I think it has great color and scale shifts throughout the composition, and she was smart to leave it in sections that could be rearranged for future exhibits.
A more sculptural hanging piece in the center, which seemed so overwhelming in the studio now seems almost understated in the gallery. I feel like it could keep going to take on Richard Serra proportions to dominantly control the viewer's experience of space.
 My favorite part about this piece is the contrast between front and back- the front side is all soft, cupping forms of various sizes, but the back is prickly with zip-ties. Colleen is an artist that transforms the mundane through repetition and accretion. The piece catches light beautifully, and there are intriguing small windows to peek through. I wonder how this piece looks with full light from the windows during the day.
 In one of the back rooms were the quirky enlarged newspaper doodles of Emily Steinberg. I especially liked these 3 large heads with some mapwork backgrounds. I really enjoy artists that have "characters" in their imagery- some recurring or morphing to be narrative archetypes. I think it reveals a glimpse of the artist's imaginative life.
 Two other artists round out the exhibition spaces, and you can visit the website to learn more. My daughter and I were lured outside by the woods and sunset light for a stroll through the sculpture garden.
 Woods in winter have so much line and texture that is totally obscured in the summer. If I ever got to make a piece for this sculpture garden I would want to do it in Winter.
 I especially liked this wall structure of charred wood by Alison Stigora. The stark black makes it stand out when seen through the trees from afar. Up close it seems more fragile- I was wary of getting too close. Like Colleen's wall in the gallery this one had a distinctly different appearance front vs. back. What seemed fort-like from the front seems precarious from the back.
 There's a performance stage set at the foot of the hill below the center that I don't remember seeing before. Framed by the stage roof and structure is an incredible swarm of yellow sparrows made of corrugated plastic strung to catch the wind slightly. I wish I could see this every day.
 Such a beautiful crisp afternoon for a walk in the woods surrounded by beautiful public art with my silly girl.

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