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MICA, Zeuxis Turn an Ordinary Object Into Extraordinary Art in "The Common Object," Dec. 1-March 11

WBAL TV, City Paper, Others Rave About Exhibition

Posted 10.24.11 by mica communications

Sharon Yates, "Mixed Flowers with Towel"

BALTIMORE -- MICA and Zeuxis still life painters association present The Common Object, an exhibition of more than 60 paintings incorporating the everyday object of a dishtowel, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011-Sunday, March 11, 2012 in the Fox Building's Meyerhoff Gallery, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave. The paintings in the exhibition, in the words of American author John Updike, "give the mundane its beautiful due." A reception will take place Friday, Dec. 2, 5-7 p.m.

This traveling exhibition features paintings by 37 Zeuxis artists and guests, including former MICA students Richard Baker and Anthony Martino '76 (general fine arts), as well as faculty member Mark Karnes and prior faculty members Stanley Friedman and Sharon Yates. Additionally, a group of MICA students will display paintings around the theme.

The title The Common Object suggests both the subject matter is an ordinary dishtowel and that the same towel is common to each painting. "As a tool and as a visual element, the dishtowel is versatile and absorbent, a bland ingredient that can be molded to many uses," Imogen Sara Smith writes in the 36-page, full-color exhibition catalog. "Wet or dry, smooth or wrinkled, clean or stained, it symbolizes the blank canvas, the eternal challenge to make something out of nothing."

The dishtowel might be treated as an inanimate object-for its drapery folds, its pattern or use as a backdrop-or might be examined for its versatility and usefulness. The painters approached the object in different ways, some leaving it quietly in the background, others featuring it as the main subject; some depicting it in realistic detail, others turning it into an abstract form.

MICA's Meyerhoff Gallery is the fourth and final presentation of The Common Object, which has previously appeared at the Prince Street Gallery in New York City, the Peninsula Fine Art Center in Newport News, Va., and the Lancaster Museum of Art in Lancaster, Pa.

The artists showcasing work in the exhibition are: Martha Armstrong, Richard Baker , Rita Baragona, Lucy Barber, William Barnes, Temma Bell, Suzanne Biggins, Rick Brazill, Susan Cohen, Kate Emlen, Bevin Engman, Phyllis Floyd, Stanley Friedman, Elizabeth Geiger, John Goodrich, Christine Hartman, Robert Jessel, Mark Karnes, Catherine Kehoe, Tim Kennedy, Deborah Kirklin, Carmela Kolman, Lynn Kotula, Penny Kronengold, Richard La Presti, Ginger Levant, Ying Li, Sydney Licht, Anthony Martino, Margaret McCann, Ruth Miller, Janice Nowinski, Don Southard, Sandra Stone, Amy Weiskopf, Megan Williamson and Sharon Yates.

Zeuxis is a grassroots organization formed in New York City in 1995 to explore the possibilities of still life painting in the post-Modernist art world. To date, Zeuxis has organized more than 50 exhibitions in museums, commercial galleries and other exhibition spaces around the country. For more information on Zeuxis, call 212.924.6153 or visit www.zeuxis.us.

MICA's galleries, which are free and open to the public, are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. They are closed on major holidays.



Image caption: Sharon Yates, Mixed Flowers with Towel, oil on panel, 2009.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

Media Coverage:

  • WATCH: WBAL TV interview
  • READ: City Paper review
  • Also featured in Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Messenger, Baltimore Sun, Maryland Life magazine, WAMU Radio, Where Baltimore magazine and WJZ TV.


Gallery Talk
Friday, Dec. 2, 3 p.m.; Fox Building: Meyerhoff Gallery, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Artists: Elizabeth Geiger, Robert Jessel, Temma Bell and Margaret McCann

Four exhibiting artists discuss their work process and philosophy about artmaking, keeping the young artist in mind.

What We Think We Mean When We Talk About Painting

Friday, Dec. 2, 6:30-8 p.m.; Fox Building: Meyerhoff Gallery, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Artists: John Goodrich and Bevin Engman; Interviewed by William Corbett, director of student writing activities in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Writing and Humanistic Studies program

This dialogue will center around what we as critics, painters, instructors and fans mean when we talk about painting.

Making Your Own Luck
Panel Discussion
Friday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m.; Fox Building: Meyerhoff Gallery, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave.

Representatives from several artist-led galleries and collaborative groups will discuss the important roles these associations can play in a larger community.