Albright College’s Freedman Gallery reopens to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 17 with two new solo exhibitions by women artists: “Stacey Steers: Edge of Alchemy” and “Kristen T. Woodward: Natural Selections.” Admission is free and open to the public, and both exhibits close October 3.
“Stacey Steers: Edge of Alchemy” will be on view in the Freedman’s Foyer gallery. “Edge of Alchemy” is Steers’ third film in a trilogy examining women’s inner worlds. Completed in2017, the animated film draws from Surrealist principles and techniques to create a contemporary narrative driven by female characters. Utilizing eight handmade works on paper for each second of film, Steers constructed more than 10,000 collages over five years to create her intricate 19-minute composition. Steers incorporates fragments of 19th century engravings and illustrations, as well as images from silent films, cutting and pasting, and adding hand-colored accents to create individual collages that she shoots with a 33 mm camera and then scans in 4K. Adopting clips of popular silent-film actors Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor to construct the leading performances in her experimental narrative, Steers places two women as the primary drivers of action and plot in this reimagining of the Frankenstein story.
The exhibition was guest curated by Honor Wilkinson, who illustrates the film’s connections to Surrealism, and explains how the artist “addresses the contemporary ‘man-made monster’ of climate change and ecosystem degradation,” in a critical essay on the exhibit.
“Natural Selections: Paintings from Kristen T. Woodward’s fall 2020 sabbatical” will be on view in the Freedman’s Project Space. This selection of more than 30 encaustic paintings abstractly explores human and animal relationships, as well as heirloom variety apples.
Art historian and Albright College professor Newton A. Perrin, Ph.D., who has privately collected Woodward’s painting for decades, relates the artist’s depiction — of the evolutionary struggle of animals living in a world dominated by humans — to that of the German Expressionist Franz Marc, distinguishing Woodward’s work as “animal expressionism.”
Woodward’s apples present as simple still life paintings, but according to the artist, are also reflections of human selectivity and choice. Woodward will give a lecture on Thursday, Sept. 2, 4 p.m., in Klein Lecture Hall, followed by a free, public reception in the gallery from 5-7 p.m.
Additionally, in the main gallery, the Freedman presents “Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936 – Present,”(August 17 through December 5). This important comprehensive exhibition comes to the Freedman Gallery in the middle of its national tour, and features 54 stunning works by 50 intergenerational artists who have perfected the hierarchy of distilled form, immaculate line, and pure color. Artists in the exhibition include Perle Fine, Esphyr Slobodkina, Alice Trumbull Mason, Katinka Mann, Alice Adams, Merrill Wagner, Claire Seidel, and Lee Krasner, among others.
“We are pleased to open our season with three amazing exhibitions that showcase a range of media and artistic forms and highlight the depth, discipline, and creativity of contemporary American artists who also happen to be women,” said David Tanner, director for the Center for the Arts at Albright College.
The gallery is open daily Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; closed for holidays and official college breaks. Please follow all guidelines posted onsite and online related to safety precautions for the ongoing pandemic.