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Statement

Spanning more than four decades, the inspiration and creative motivation for my personal expression comes from the issues and events of everyday life, present and past, public and private. Through various media, my artwork has examined the fragile, ephemeral, and sometimes elegiac nature of human existence. I have been, and continue to be interested in creating visual art that can transcend the physicality of the material surface and be a vehicle for emotional and intellectual contemplation, as well as a metaphor for the fragility of the human condition and the world during my lifetime.

 

The Elegies series of works express the sadness and sorrow felt about some of the tragic events during my adult life such as the human loss and suffering in our American cities due to racial struggles and gun violence, the Vietnam War, and more recently, the conflict in Ukraine as well as the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building. These works echo a statement by the German artist Gerhard Richter, “art can express profound mourning while remaining the highest form of hope.”

The Dark Times/Escape from Reality works were prompted by a deep concern for the current dark and polarized period in America and are metaphorical explorations relevant to politics, social and racial issues, violence including predatory sexual abuse, and religion. I addressed distinct events that have contributed to the present crises, as well as themes that escape the harsh reality in this “Age of Trump” through the lens of satire and surrealism. The elegiac artwork April 4, 1968 Elegy, created with ashes, chrysanthemum flower petals, and acrylic paint, is based on a black and white photo taken by LIFE magazine photographer Henry Grosinsky on the night of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the riots that occurred in a number cities throughout America following his assassination. December 14, 2012 Elegy, poignantly expresses the overwhelming sadness of the innocent children and teachers who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School with paint and dried roses. Long Night (Surreally and the Underground), prompted by the symbolism of the winter solstice, is a visual journey from the dark underground night inhabited by a number of satirical versions of key characters involved in current domestic and global tensions, to the arrival of the sun and the hopeful portrayal of people seeking peace and refuge. 

 

In the Forest series of works explore the metaphorical and representational qualities of being in the forest; it is a place where light and darkness, good and evil, order and chaos, danger and fear and peace coexist. It is a place where reason is not the norm, a place where accident, chance, and randomness prevail, and a place where memory and history converge. I created these works utilizing traditional acrylic paint and mediums, as well as natural materials or objects from the forest on my small Pennsylvania farm and man-made or manufactured materials.

 

The Surveillance series of paintings are "appropriations" of the pixilated surface of a television monitor which has recorded fleeting images directly or indirectly related to criminal activity that has temporarily made national headline news. The paintings consist of multiple layers of translucent paint applied with either a brush or drywall knives and emphasizes the ambiguity and sense of mystery inherent in the source images, now clouded by memory; like a garbled or muffled announcement heard over a public address system. As with the cases connected to the appropriated images, much information remains unknown or unresolved in these paintings.

 

The Tribes series of works are a visual exploration of people with different interests, beliefs, and agendas existing in conflict. The works consist of two or more human-scaled rectangular panels, and involve surfaces of natural and/or manufactured materials including tree bark, soil, cowhide, sugar, veneer brick, vinyl siding, and carpet, in addition to traditional acrylic paint and mediums.

 

Views or personal observations of nature, especially within and around my small farm named MARBROOK near Spring Grove, have been another ongoing direction for my artwork.  Interpreting the forms, texture, color, and light of the ever-changing spring stream or forest has been a fascination and challenge for me.

 

Almost Forgotten News paintings and drawings express the fleeting impact of news events I experienced or witnessed through the media of television, magazines and newspapers. The events have come with such frequency that we have become almost too numb to react. We tend to want to forget. 

 

Heroes paintings are based on military photographs of American troops from Pennsylvania killed during the “War on Terrorism.” These works question the notion of “hero” in the context of war, examine the anonymous nature of sacrificing a life for a country, and explore the meaning and definition of patriotism.

 

The Victims works are based on photographs of victims of the attack on the World Trade Center. As elegiac art they celebrate as well as mourn the dead. Coal ashes of different tones have been mixed into acrylic medium to evoke the horrifying cloud that choked Manhattan on September 11, 2001, but unlike the images made on that day, the works reveal expressions that belong to other times. They are faces of everyday happiness, warm, hopeful, intimate—and ghostlike, lively faces suspended in a haze of grief.

 

My technical process is slow, repetitive and deliberate, although at first glance the opposite may seem evident. Choice of media and its manipulation are determined by the expressive meaning I am attempting to achieve. Regardless of my preconception or vision of what the work should look like, the work takes on a life of its own as it develops. I become involved in a cycle of evaluating what I have done in relation to my original intentions for the work. I imagine what direction the work may develop, apply the medium or media again, evaluate, and so on until the work achieves a certain emotional level or expressive quality. I may finish a work in a few days or weeks, but I have also taken years to complete a work.

 

I have been, and continue to be, interested in creating visual art that can transcend the physicality of the material surface and be a vehicle for emotional, spiritual and intellectual contemplation, as well as a metaphor for human existence, especially within my own time.

RESUME

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ABOUT

4899 Pine Drive

Spring Grove, PA 17362

march.stephen@gmail.com

717-797-5090 or 717-887-7298

EDUCATION

M.F.A. in Painting, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

B.A. in Fine Arts, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019  Amos Eno Gallery, New York, NY

2017  Amos Eno Gallery, New York, NY

2015  Amos Eno Gallery, New York, NY

          Pennsylvania Arts Experience Orientation Center, York, PA

2013  Amos Eno Gallery, New York, NY

          Pennsylvania Arts Experience Orientation Center, York, PA

2012  York Art Association, York, PA

2009  Harrisburg Area Community College/Lancaster Campus, Lancaster PA

2008  Keystone Art & Culture Center, Lancaster, PA

2007  55 Mercer Gallery, New York, NY

2005  Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts, York, PA

2004  55 Mercer Gallery, New York, NY

2003  55 Mercer Gallery, New York, NY

2001  55 Mercer Gallery, New York, NY

1999  YorkArts Gallery, York, PA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023  2023 Regional Juried Spring Open, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

          60th Annual Juried National Competition, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA
2022  13th Annual National Figurative Exhibition, Lore Degenstein Gallery, Susquehanna University,                       Selinsgrove, PA
          Delaplaine 2022 National juried Exhibit, The Delaplaine Arts center Frederick MD
          Fifty First Annual Open Juried Exhibit, York art association, York, PA
           Art with Heart Exhibit, Creative York Kerlin Gallery, York, PA
2021  Bushwick Open Studios Small Works Show, Amos Eno Gallery, New York, NY
          Yorkfest Adult Juried Exhibition, Creative York Kerlin Gallery, York, PA
          Hope and Healing: A Journey Into Light, Creative York Kerlin Gallery, York, PA
2020  Politically Charged National Exhibition, BlueLine Arts, Roseville, CA
          Hope and Resilience, Creative York  Kerlin Gallery, York, PA
2019  The Will's Creek National Exhibition, Allegany Arts Council Saville Gallery, Cumberland, MD
          2019 National Juried Exhibit, Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick, MD
          Our Story, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA
          2019 Regional Juried Spring Open Exhibit, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
          Identity Exhibit, Creative York, York, PA
2018  Long Night Group Show, Amos Eno Gallery, New York, NY
          90th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
          Images 2018, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Schlow Center Region Library, State                        College, PA
2017  Art of the State Purchase Award Collection 1969-2017, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
          YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, Creative York Gallery, York, PA
2016  88th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
2015  Images 2015, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Schlow Center Region Library, State                        College, PA
          Inaugural Exhibit of the Pennsylvania Arts, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
2014  Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
          86th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
          YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, YorkArts Gallery, York, PA
          Power and Resistance, York College of PA Marketview Arts Gallery, York, PA
2013  85th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
          YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, YorkArts Gallery, York, PA
2012  84th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
          Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2012, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
          Will's Creek Survey 2012 National Juried Exhibition, Allegany Arts Council, Cumberland, MD
2011  Images 2011, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Robeson Gallery, Penn State University,                  University Park, PA
          83rd Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
          YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, YorkArts Gallery, York, PA
2010  Images 2010, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Robeson Gallery, Penn State University,                  University Park, PA
          82nd Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
2009  Images 2009, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Robeson Gallery, Penn State University,                  University Park, PA
          The Pennsylvania Arts Experience Artist Trail Exhibition, York College of Pennsylvania Art Gallery,                 York, PA
2008  Images 2008, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Robeson Gallery, Penn State University,                  University Park, PA
          2D 144 SU National Invitational Exhibition, Kauffman Gallery, Shippensburg University,                                  Shippensburg, PA
          80th Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
          Will's Creek Survey 2008 National Juried Exhibition, Allegany Arts Council, Cumberland, MD
2007  Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2007, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
2006  Images 2006, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Robeson Gallery, Penn State University,                  University Park, PA
          7th Annual SU Juried National Exhibition, Kauffman Gallery, Shippensburg University,                                    Shippensburg,PA
2005  Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2005, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
          Images 2005, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Robeson Gallery, Penn State University,                  University Park, PA
2004  Critical Mass (Peter Schjeldahl), 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA
          Dimensions 2004, Associated Artists of Winston-Salem, Winston-Salem,NC
          13th National Juried Show, Art Center of Northern New Jersey, New Milford, NJ
          76th Annual Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA

AWARDS

First Place Award, Regional Juried Spring Open Exhibit, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA, 2019

Award of Distinction, YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, York PA, 2017

First Prize in Painting, Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA, 2014

Second Prize in Painting, Annual National Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA, 2014, 2011

Revington Arthur Award for Excellence in Painting, Images 2010, Central PA Festival of the Arts, Penn State University, 2011, 2009

First Prize in Mixed Media, 83rd Annual International Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA, 2010

Second Place Award, Will's Creek Survey 2008 National Juried Exhibition, Allegany Arts Council, Cumberland, MD, 2008

Award of Merit, Images Juried Exhibition, Central PA Festival of the Arts, Penn State University, University Park, PA, 2008, 2001

Award of Excellence, YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, York PA, 2010, 2008, 2004, 2002

Best-of-Show, YorkFest National Juried Exhibition, York PA, 2006

First Prize in Sculpture, Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2003, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA, 2003

First Prize in Oil & Acrylic Painting, 73rd Annual National Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA, 2001

COLLECTIONS

Fine Arts Collection, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum Permanent Collection, LaGrange, GA

Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA

Elmira College, Elmira, NY

Apple Hill Center/York Hospital, York, PA

NEWS

Retrospective Exhibition:  As I SEE It

 

November 24, 2023 - January 20, 2024

Reception: Friday, November 24, 2023, 4-7 pm

York College of Pennsylvania

Marketview Arts

Third Floor Gallery

37 West Philadelphia Street, York, PA 17401

717.815.1909

Gallery Hours:  Tuesday/Thursday: 10-2 pm, Wednesday: 3-7 pm, Friday: 2-9 pm, Saturday: 10-9 pm

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