Ordinary and Extraordinary People Conversation on Canvas and Cardboard Portraits by Ann Strassman
Beverly, MA -- The Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the solo exhibition, Ordinary and Extraordinary People Conversation on Canvas and Cardboard Portraits by Ann Strassman
, in the Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly from now – September 27. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The reception for this exhibition will be held on Thursday, September 12, 5:00-7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
What conversations would the Queen have with Willie Nelson, and would Steven Tyler ask Chairman Mao to walk this way? Perhaps the woman seated on the park bench with cigarette dangling from her lips will share her opinion with Abraham Lincoln on the recent Spielberg movie depicting his life. The Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery is alive with conversation as the portraits painted by Ann Strassman fill the walls with the ordinary and the extraordinary. Ordinary and Extraordinary People, Conversation on Canvas and Cardboard: Portraits by Ann Strassman
includes 13 portraits of well known political figures and musicians, along with a mix of people from city street scenes. Kathleen Moore, Coordinator of Visual Arts and Gallery Director states, “These works are mostly created on cardboard boxes that the artist has procured and cleverly painted with acrylics; two newer works are oil on canvas”. While recently speaking with Ms. Strassman, the artist stated that the box does not determine the portrait, but it is always fun to see what words or labels appear on what portrait, it is the surprise element upon completion. The viewer will enjoy the hidden gems in each portrait and will find humor in each one. These works are not titled by the subject, but by the appliance or spectacle. For example, the Queen’s portrait is titled Box III
, Chairman Mao is Dishwasher I,
and Steven Tyler is Range II
, was this really accidental?”
According to Ms. Strassman, “My paintings fill the walls - I sit in my studio and visit with the faces that have become part of my life- my other family. The paint flows over the surface and puddles into rumpled shirts and rumpled faces. A single swipe of a large brush makes a figure reflected in the window. The worn wood of a city bench appears and the sun shines on it- a woman holds down one end reading the New York Times. I wonder if she does the puzzle. Strangers, unguarded glances and gestures, a sleepy nod, the small scenes that mark the day- insight, imagination and empathy combine to make a painting.”
The artist continues, “My current body of work starts on the street. People living their public lives- the similarities and foibles that separate and connect. The subjects that interest me are not always human - animals, birds and trees are seen on my surfaces, but they are always alive. I paint the impermanence and struggle of existence and instill life under the skin. My work is literal - there are no metaphors just the magic of paint.”
Ms. Strassman will be the visiting artist at the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Endicott in September when she and our Visual Art students will create a mural on cardboard in the Grillo Gallery. The exhibition and the mural will be celebrated on Thursday September 12 from 5 – 7 p.m. The gallery and reception are free and open to the public. For further information regarding this exhibition or any of the programming related to this exhibition, please contact Kathleen Moore at 978-232-2655 or email@example.com
. Our website is: www.endicott.edu/centerforthearts
for further information on future exhibits and lectures opportunities.