This past Sunday was the second of three artists talks in conjunction with the Art of the State exhibition at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA. This time the speakers were artist Robert Stickloon (1st place winner works on paper) and the Works on Paper/Painting juror, Maxine Gaiber (Executive Director of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts.) There were also a couple of other artists from the exhibition in the crowd as well.
This time I didn’t get all “art vs. craft,” but there were some interesting conversations. Because Maxine was coming from an art historian perspective, she put some o fthe works into larger contexts. We talked about the Ash Can School, Georgia O’Keefe, and Pop Art. One thing she mentioned in particular was how Americans tend to work big – big painting, enlarging subject matter, etc. It was also interesting hearing about her winnowing process when she juried the work. You don’t often get to hear about this aspect of an exhibition.
Robert Stickloon spoke about both his painting, Tone Poem in Grays, and his drawing, The Shaving Brush. I liked hearing about how his process was one of the most important aspects of his work. His subject matter was less important than the formal aspects of the works. He challenged himself in both pieces – combining different textures in his drawing (shaving foam, hair in the brush, shiny smooth plastic of the handle) and juxtaposing both warm and cool versions of a monochromatic, black and white palette in his oil painting. He also spoke about separating what he teaches his students (foundation art classes) and what he does in his own work.
We got to hear a bit from the other two artists who had come to the talk, Erin Sparler and Richard Chandler Hoff. It’s great getting to hear from so many different artists and others involved in this exhibition as well as from the other viewers and visitors at the talks. I’ve really enjoyed this series and I encourage you to come to the final talk if you are in the area. This last talk is on September 11th (free admission day) at 1pm at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA. It will be featuring photographer and “Best of Show” winner Lydia Panas and exhibit awards juror Ricardo Viera (Director/Curator, Lehigh University Art Galleries.)