Past

The Huntington Museum of Art will welcome Jessica Drenk as a Walter Gropius Master Artist in July and will present an exhibit of her work from May 8 through Aug. 1, 2021.

Drenk will discuss her work in a free public presentation at HMA on July 22, 2021, at 7 p.m. Drenk will present a workshop titled “The Altered Book: Repurposing Old Books as a Catalyst for Creativity” from July 23-25. Call (304) 529-2701 for fee information. To allow for social distancing, the number of workshop participants is limited.

Raised in Montana, Drenk developed an appreciation for the natural world that inspires her artwork. Drenk’s sculptures, which are tactile and textural, highlight the chaos and beauty found in simple materials.

Drenk earned an MFA in 3D Art from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College. Drenk’s work can be found internationally in private collections, as well as corporate and university collections in America. Drenk’s awards include an Artist Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award. Her work has been pictured in Sculpture, Interior Design, and Curve magazines, as well as The Workshop Guide to Ceramics. Recently, her work has become part of the Fidelity art collection and the Yale University Art Gallery. A working artist since 2007, her home and studio are near Rochester, New York.

The Walter Gropius Master Artist Program is funded through the generosity of the Estate of Roxanna Y. Booth, who wished to assist in the development of an art education program in accordance with the proposals of Walter Gropius, who designed the Museum’s Gropius Addition, as well as the Gropius Studios. The Museum is indebted to Roxanna Y. Booth’s son, the late Alex Booth, Jr., for his participation in the concept development of the Gropius Master Artists Workshops.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.


Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) is arguably the most noteworthy artist that West Virginia has produced. She was an accomplished painter and teacher, and her works are highly sought after today by collectors and museums. An independent and free-spirited woman, she moved seamlessly between the hills of her native state of West Virginia, the Salons of Europe, and her adopted home and studio in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Lazzell was among the first Americans to produce abstract prints, expressing the ideas of the Cubists and other European modernists in a series of color woodblock prints that was created in the mid-1920s. She joined with her colleagues in the Provincetown Printers Group to help pioneer the “one block” method of printing, a process that allowed the artist a great deal of freedom in the use of color, tone and texture. The subjects of her work include images of her home state of West Virginia and the bustling seaside environment of Provincetown, as well as the brightly colored flowers that adorned her garden. Her body of work, with its bold forms and strong colors, demonstrates her successful commitment to the modernist aesthetic and serves as a fitting expression of the exuberance and vitality of her own life.

For this exhibition, the Huntington Museum of Art is excited to partner with members of the extended family of Blanche Lazzell to showcase works from their private collections, including several of her renowned woodblock prints as well as paintings. These works will be accompanied by objects from the HMA collection.

This exhibit is presented by Doug and Lynn McCorkle.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The Bodice Project

April 24 - July 25, 2021

The Bodice Project is a traveling sculpture exhibition about breast cancer survivors and their emotional healing post breast cancer.

After breast cancer every person asks the question: “Who am I now?” Breast cancer has pushed and pulled on the physical and emotional aspects of each individual, and they are left with physical and emotional scars.

The goal of The Bodice Project is to aid in the emotional healing of those women and men facing the challenges of breast cancer and to open the eyes and hearts of others. Nearly everyone has been touched by breast cancer in some way. The Bodice Project sheds light on the unique and individual stories of their journeys through the healing power of art.

It is a project that brings together artists, breast cancer survivors, patients and the public in a unique and meaningful way. Artists from the Mid-Atlantic area have created torso sculptures of breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomies or reconstructive surgery. When presented to the public, these beautiful works evoke a range of emotion, from empathy to solace.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Katherine & Herman Pugh Exhibitions Endowment.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

Additional support provided by Women 2 Women of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Portfolio 2021

April 17 - May 16, 2021

Portfolio is designed to showcase the exemplary artwork of middle school and high school students in the Tri-State region of West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. This year, after a hiatus in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued health concerns, the Portfolio 2021 exhibition has been reorganized to showcase the best senior high school student art. In limiting the exhibition it is our goal to meet CDC guidelines while still recognizing these young artists and their teachers, creating an opportunity to participate in a high-quality exhibition within a museum setting and providing a venue for graduating students to build a portfolio for advanced study. Portfolio 2021 will not be juried this year, rather each senior student will receive a small cash prize for their participation. One student will be selected for the Janet Bromley Excellence in the Arts Award to be chosen by the Museum’s Curator. We are optimistically hopeful to return to a full exhibition, reception and award ceremony for Portfolio 2022.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Wheels

July 3 - October 3, 2021

The wheel is one of civilization’s greatest inventions. Though derived from a simple shape, the construction of a working wheel took great ingenuity, and it was only within the last six millennia that a wheel-and-axle combination appears in the human record. This development was a significant advancement in technology as it allowed more efficient agricultural cultivation and vastly revolutionized transportation. It also was utilized in many other applications, such as pottery making and food processing.

HMA will celebrate this remarkable device with an exhibition of works that feature images of wheels in use. From the creations of folk artists such as Herman Hayes’ whimsical sculpture Large Star Wheel With Four Supporting Figures and Evan Decker’s Cowboy With Bells, Wheels, Squirrels, Hens to Huntington photographer Levi Holley Stone’s images of automobiles and bicycles, a variety of wheel-themed works are included.

Pop culture is represented in original artwork for comic books and strips depicting the Batmobile and Little Orphan Annie, while John Baeder’s Royal Diner illustrates the prevalence of the automobile in American culture. The exhibition features a wide range of mediums and will allow the viewer an opportunity to step back and look at a common object from a new perspective.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The long tradition of the artistic still life dates to ancient times in Egypt and the classical worlds of Greece and Rome, as depictions of tabletop arrangements of food and other objects have been found in Egyptian tombs, on Greek vases, and in mosaics and wall paintings unearthed in Pompeii. The genre began to thrive during the Renaissance, especially in northern Europe where Dutch and Flemish painters excelled in producing ultra-realistic depictions of inanimate objects such as flowers, dead game, food and wine, kitchen utensils and glassware. Though relegated to the lowest levels of importance by the European academic hierarchies who valued more lofty and esoteric subject matter, still life paintings were popular with art buyers and sold well.

The still life genre was even embraced by the iconoclastic painters of the 19th and 20th centuries in spite of its firm roots in tradition and has been a continuing theme in American painting.

The Huntington Museum of Art will display a wide-ranging group of still-life works from its collection, including a sumptuous painting by 17th century Italian painter Bartolommeo Bettera, a pastel drawing by Cubist master Georges Braque, and several examples by American artists such as John Peto, Jack Beal, and Gloria Vanderbilt. In addition to works by Robert Freimark, Blanche Lazzell, and Leslie Shiels, this exhibit will include three works that were acquired in recent years from the prestigious collection of the late Dr. William Gerdts, the preeminent scholar on American still life, and his wife, Abigail Gerdts.

This exhibit is presented by Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Art on a Limb

November 24 - January 3, 2021

The Huntington Museum of Art will present Art on a Limb, an exhibit of holiday trees decorated with ornaments created by regional artists from Nov. 24, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2021. Although the Art on a Limb exhibit will take place, Holiday Open House at HMA has been canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Art on a Limb exhibit showcases the work of artists in The Huntington Calligraphers’ Guild, Tri-Area Needle Arts, and West Virginia Bead Society. The Palette Tree in HMA’s Virginia Van Zandt Great Hall features individual artist palettes featuring the artwork of dozens of regional artists, including Paula Clendenin, Charles Jupiter Hamilton, Lee Ann Blevins, and the late Chuck Ripper, among others.

“The groups creating ornaments for ‘Art on a Limb’ have long relationships with the Huntington Museum of Art and take pride in the artworks they create to be displayed on the holiday trees,” said Cindy Dearborn, HMA Education Director. “We are grateful to them for their dedication to this exhibit.”

Craig Allen Subler: Eccentric Spaces

January 30 - April 25, 2021

Contemporary West Virginia artist Craig Allen Subler brings a unique set of experiences to his work, drawing upon his lengthy career as both a working artist and a museum administrator.

Born in Dayton, Ohio, he did his undergraduate studies at the Dayton Art Institute and obtained graduate degrees, including an MFA, from the University of Iowa. He later served as the Olsen Professor in the Department of Art and History and the Director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Gallery of Art. From 1980-2001 he curated more than 180 exhibitions, ranging from shows of work by Jasper Johns, Yoko Ono and Robert Rauschenberg to a unique exhibit on the topic of African hats, and produced 30 exhibition catalogues.

Subler’s art has been seen in more than 84 group exhibits and 15 one-person shows. He has received several public commissions and his work is included in many museums and private collections.

He is currently retired and living and working in his studio in Gerrardstown, West Virginia.

In his exhibition at the Huntington Museum of Art, Subler’s drawings, prints and paintings focus on the complexity of the museum experience. Museums are highly choreographed and artificial domains where curators, educators and designers cluster objects to create clear and defined narratives. Yet as visitors walk through the museum, they encounter individual rooms that feature objects not related to those they have just experienced. In his work Subler focuses on making a new narrative through the juxtaposition of spaces and objects. His works present a complex accumulation of fragments and viewpoints. It is puzzling for the figures that inhabit these works, while reminding us of our own museum encounters.  

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Art Quilts by Denise Roberts

January 16 - April 11, 2021

Award-winning quilt artist Denise Roberts credits the curved landscapes that surround the winding roads of her home state of West Virginia as a major influence on her work. Through the meandering arcs and bold shapes and colors that appear in her quilts, she achieves a brooding sense of energy and character. She reaps the bounty of the thousands of hours she has invested in studying and perfecting the technical side of her artistry, utilizing a masterful grasp of free and improvisational cutting, fabric dyeing and surface design to create textiles that stretch far beyond the historical bounds that often limit the quilter’s art. Though rooted in timeless craft traditions, her work is more akin to that of abstract painters, connected with them through a bold use of color and form in their purest manifestations.

A West Virginia resident since the age of nine, Roberts has lived in several locations around the state, including a stretch in the mid-1980s when she settled in Huntington. After she and her husband welcomed their first daughter, they moved to the Morgantown area, and in 2008 they bought a farm in Albright, West Virginia (Preston County), where she set up her professional studio and still resides. She spent many years following a traditional quilter’s path, but in 2005 she began studying with some of the leaders in the improvisational quilting field, especially Ohio-based artist Nancy Crow. Her work has been featured in many national and international exhibits, including Color Improvisations 2, which was shown at the Huntington Museum of Art in 2019.

This will be Roberts’ first solo show and will highlight selections from three thematic series that have occupied her attention over much of the past five years. All the quilts feature the energetic lines and striking colors that have become characteristic of the artist’s mature work. After many shows with a limited number of her work, the prospect of seeing a large selection together in one gallery will provide a tantalizing treat to museum visitors.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The history of African-American art reflects the larger story of America, a land that saw millions of enslaved Africans brought to its shores during the colonial and antebellum periods. These forced immigrants were stripped of their own cultural traditions and compelled to create new narratives in a strange and unforgiving land. Opportunities to freely express themselves or to receive specialized instruction in art were rare for African Americans in the antebellum period and equally so even after the abolishment of slavery at the time of the Civil War. Only by the time of the 20th century, with developments such as the Harlem Renaissance, did a growing culture of African-American visual art begin to blossom and burst onto the national scene. Though still hampered by continuing prejudice and a lack of opportunity, African-American visual artists have nevertheless emerged to become a strong voice in the contemporary art scene in the United States.

Over the past several decades, the Huntington Museum of Art has been building a distinguished collection of work by African-American artists. Included in the group is a painting by the most celebrated African-American artist of the 19th century, Henry Ossawa Tanner, an internationally successful painter and teacher. Perhaps the most widely known work by an African-American artist in the HMA collection is by one of Tanner’s students, William Edouard Scott. His painting Lead Kindly Light appeared in 1918 on the cover of The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP that was edited by well-known African-American intellectual W.E.B. DuBois. It has been featured in exhibitions at major institutions and was recently highlighted in the PBS documentary Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. Another early 20th century work is a watercolor by Richard Lonsdale Brown, a talented West Virginia artist whose work was also featured in The Crisis. Prints by 20th century master Romare Bearden will also be included.

Many of the works in the collection have been acquired to commemorate the participation of artists as guest instructors in the museum’s Walter Gropius Master Artist Workshop program. Thom Shaw, E.B. Lewis, Nanette Carter, Willie Cole and Donald Earley have all led workshops, as have Joyce Scott and Carrie Mae Weems, both of whom have been honored with MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Awards.

Several artists with local ties will be featured in the show, including quilt artists and Huntington natives Tina Williams Brewer and Theresa Polley-Shellcroft, both former Gropius Workshop leaders, and poet/artist Elaine Blue. Works by prominent self-taught artists will also be on view, including selections by William Hawkins, Clementine Hunter and Dilmus Hall.

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

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