Martin Art Gallery
Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation, Inc.:
Cities of Peace ®
March 16 – April 16, 2011
Artist’s Reception: March 16, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Related Programming: April 7 – 8, Muhlenberg College’s 8th Annual Social Research/Social Justice Symposium
Frank’s suite of nine, 6’ x 8’ gold-illuminated paintings on linen are her visual tribute to locations around the world — Baghdad, Beijing, Hiroshima, Jerusalem, Kabul, Lhasa, Monrovia, New York and Sarajevo. She produced the paintings at the Illumination Atelier of the Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation in East Hampton, New York with the help of trained interns and scholars from China, Colombia, Estonia, Canada and other locations. Illumination, rarely practiced in contemporary art, often evokes associations to richly colored and detailed religious manuscripts and iconography of the medieval period. It is the goal of the not-for-profit Foundation to enhance understanding of the art form among artists and the public and to use the historic genre as a platform to enhance an international culture of peace.
A 1999 visit to Jerusalem inspired Frank to produce the first paintings in the series. Her goal was to celebrate the best of the human spirit. She comments, “Through understanding the history and beauty of theses great cities that have suffered strife, we can participate in the beauty and recovery of peace. Understanding is a prerequisite to peace.”
Curator, Dr. Margo Thompson, assistant professor of art history at Muhlenberg hopes Frank’s paintings will stimulate thought and discussion and perhaps encourage viewers to acknowledge the long history and grandeur of humankind’s creative powers. The exhibition will be an integral part of the College’s 8th Annual Social Research/Social Justice Symposium in April.
Frank studied art history and connoisseurship at Yale University and holds an interdisciplinary doctorate in English literature and the visual arts from Stanford University. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ford Foundation fellowship, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She founded the Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation in 2005.
An opening reception will be held Wednesday, March 16, 4:30 – 6 p.m. in the Martin Art Gallery. The event free and open to the public.
The Martin Gallery and is located in the Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Gallery hours are: Tuesday through Saturdays, noon – 8 p.m.; closed during major holidays and semester breaks. Information: 484-664-3467.
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