The Customs House Museum continues with its annual “Women Painting Women” exhibitions this September when the show “Always a Lady” opens in the museum’s Kimbrough Gallery. The seven artists from across the U.S. represented in the exhibition include Linda Brandon, Elena Burykina, Alia El-Bermani, Gaela Erwin, Ann Piper, Tonja Sell, and Pamela Wilson.
This is the sixth exhibition of the “Women Painting Women” theme for the Customs House. Exhibits curator, Terri Jordan, states, “It is important to us that in celebrating women artists, we celebrate a variety of artistic expressions. ‘Always a Lady’ represents artists who continuously explore the female form through painting with grace and sensitivity. The work exhibited weaves stories of women in all stages of life within the borders of canvas and frames.”
The slate of participants this year is easily recognized in their techniques. Tonja Sell, who resides in Wisconsin, studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and received the Regent Scholarship at Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ. Her repertoire includes drawing, painting, ceramic and metal sculpture, glass-blowing, and fusing textiles. Often depicted in a narrative setting, her figures are created through rich layers of collage materials.
Kentucky artist Gaela Erwin’s latest work explores her family dynamics. Gaela was a finalist this year in the prestigious BP Portrait Award.
Pennsylvania artist Ann Piper’s paintings are often self portraits that border on surrealism. She has said of her work, “Always formal, and often theatrical, each portrait serves as an assertion of a state of being. They are artificial moments, certainly, but are invented in support of very real sentiments. I am constantly examining human relationships through these devised images; assigning roles, removing context, arranging objects, and offering it all up for reinterpretation.”
Pamela Wilson’s theatrically staged figures (featured at top) exude a commanding strength within their dreamlike settings. Primarily painted in oil, some of the newer works incorporate gold leaf, which emphasize the haunting quality of the scene. Wilson received her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was awarded a Regents Fellowship, the Abrams Project Grant, and a Regents Award for her thesis exhibition. Wilson’s work can often be found gracing the covers of art publications. Her work has been included in several group and solo exhibitions, including at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington DC.
“Always a Lady” will be on view September 5 through November 20, 2018. Located at the corner of Second and Commerce Streets in Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum is the second largest general museum in the state. For more information please visit www.customshousemuseum.org.