On loan from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Posing Beauty explored the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts in a diverse range of media. Posing Beauty was divided into three thematic sections. The first theme, Constructing a Pose, considered the interplay between the historical and the contemporary, between self-representation and imposed representation, and the relationship between subject and photographer. The second theme, Body and Image, questioned the ways in which our contemporary understanding of beauty has been constructed and framed through the body. The last section, Modeling Beauty and Beauty Contests, invited a deeper reading of beauty, its impact on mass culture and individuals and how the display of beauty affects the ways in which we see and interpret the world and ourselves. Artists in the exhibition included: Eve Arnold, Anthony Barboza, Sheila Pree Bright, Renee Cox, Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Lee Friedlander, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Alex Harsley, Jessica Ingram, Lauren Kelley, Russell Lee, Builder Levy, Elaine Mayes, Jeffrey Scales, Jamel Shabazz, Stephen Shames, Mickaline Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Garry Winogrand and Ernest Withers, among others. Financial assistance for this exhibit was provided by Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Inc.
Complementing the Everhart Museum’s Winter exhibit, Posing Beauty, area students were invited to create artworks inspired by their own perceptions of identity and beauty for Student Art at the Everhart: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. For the first time, the Everhart Museum partnered with Scranton’s Sister City Ballina, Ireland and the Ballina Arts Centre to showcase student work illustrating how contemporary Irish youth see themselves and their cultural identities. Through these collaborative efforts, the Everhart nurtures creativity and showcases artistic excellence in the community.
Titanic: Explore the Legend & 100 Years of History was a project by Marywood University students enrolled in H281: Techniques in Public History: Archival & Museum Studies. Working with the Everhart Museum staff, the students developed an exhibit concept, researched images, wrote text, and created the Gallery 13 exhibit. Their focus was the RMS Titanic, from its inception to the tragic ending in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Their selection of period photographs and graphic reproductions told the story of the world’s most luxurious ocean liner of the day and how 100 years later we are still fascinated by its history. The impact of this international event has a place in our local memory as the students discovered in their research. Of special note was discussion of individuals from Northeast Pennsylvania who traveled on the doomed ship, as well as newspaper coverage from the NEPA region in the hours and days following the ship’s collision with the iceberg in the far north Atlantic. The student curators of Titanic: Explore the Legend & 100 Years of History were: Krista Ammirati, Allie Coppola, Kate Gaffney, & Ryan Kearney. They were part of the inaugural group of students participating in the Public History Program within the Social Sciences Department. Information on the program can be obtained by calling 570-348-6288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEEyond examined the majesty of the honeybee through the lens of photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher, who used the power of the electron microscope to explore the intricate details of this magnificent insect. Fisher is the author of the book “BEE,” which was the third-place winner in the International Photography Awards and was recently featured on NPR. While at the Everhart, the images were supplemented by art, artifacts, beekeeping objects, and natural science items – both from the collection and on loan – which illustrated the role of the honey bee in science, culture, and art. Financial assistance for this exhibit was provided by Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Inc.
According to Henry David Thoreau, “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams,” but regional beekeepers know that the experience of working with bees can include moments of high drama. Thanks to members of the Lackawanna Backyard Beekeepers and Wayne County Beekeepers Association, the Everhart Museum’s Gallery One exhibit Directing Sunbeams illustrated the trials, tribulations, and treasures of beekeeping in the Northeastern PA region.
Sightlines was a contemporary art quilt installation in which fourteen artists were invited to create an installation of artworks featuring a sightline linking all the artwork in the exhibit. Each artist chose her own themes and created five to eight artworks, including four 8×8″ linking pieces, covering a ten foot wide space. Perhaps the required continuous line provided provocation, both conscious and unconscious, to the artists to focus on the interaction of time, personal history, and memory. The artists explored themes such as consumerism, contemplation, randomness, emotion, triumph, tragedy, and making connections. The exhibit was on loan from SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) and marked the second time that the Everhart Museum worked with this group of artists. Financial assistance for this exhibit was provided by Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Inc.
Stitching a Story featured the work of NEPA students and residents inspired by the historical quilting and embroidery technique of “redwork.” Redwork originated in Turkey, where colorfast red cotton thread was developed, and the popularity of using all-red designs in textiles grew in Europe and the United States during the 19thcentury. Each participant was asked to stitch his/her favorite memories and things on hexagonal-shaped canvas, a shape used to both illustrate the interconnectedness of interdependence in relationships as well as the honeycomb of the beehive. Exhibit partners included fiber artist Peg McDade, NEIU 19, and the Lackawanna County Library System.
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