Koo Schadler, “Profile of Lily with Pearl Buttons,” silverpoint on paper
Koo Schadler, “Profile of Lily with Pearl Buttons,” silverpoint on paper

Running through November 20, 2019, “Argentum” presents a survey of contemporary artists utilizing a long-forgotten drawing medium, at Hillsdale College’s Daughtrey Gallery (Michigan), presented by Hillsdale College and Lauren Amalia Redding, curator.

Silverpoint, or metalpoint when encompassing all metals, is an ancient drawing medium in which the artist draws with a piece of silver wire in a stylus. The medium flourished in the studios of Renaissance Europe, but “Argentum” displays contemporary American voices using this deep-rooted medium in the twenty-first century.

Metalpoint drawings
Darryl Babatunde Smith, “Sparagmos,” silverpoint and egg tempera on prepared paper

Following “Argentum’s” initial opening in Manhattan in the spring of 2017, it now travels to Hillsdale, which boasts one of the few undergraduate art departments in the United States that teaches and champions figurative art. The exhibition will present a survey of silverpoint drawings made by an array of representational artists. Some artists use the medium exclusively, some occasionally, and some experimentally. A strong commitment to skill and draftsmanship unite them all. The diversity of subject matter and familiarity matches the diversity of the artists’ backgrounds and voices. Hillsdale, as a college famed for its commitment to free speech, proves a philosophically fitting venue for such a roster.

Metalpoint drawings
Carol Broman, “Figural Flourish,” 2019, silverpoint on hand-gessoed paper, 9 3/4 x 7 in.

Twenty artists will be featured in the show: James Xavier Barbour, Dina Brodsky, Carol Broman, Noah Buchanan, Lauren Caldarola, Harvey Citron, Luis Colan, Diana Corvelle, Brad Davis, Joshua Henderson, Sam Knecht, Tom Mazzullo, Mary Anne McCarthy, Lauren Amalia Redding, Koo Schadler, Edward Schmidt, Darryl Babatunde Smith, Jesse Stern, Dan Thompson, and Cheryl Wheat.

Curator Lauren Amalia Redding is a silverpoint artist, writer, and instructor in Naples, Florida. After nearly ten years living in New York City, Redding moved to southwest Florida with her husband, the sculptor Brett F. Harvey, to open H&R Studio. Redding obtained her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. Like many of the artists in the exhibition, she obtained her master’s degree from the New York Academy of Art.

Metalpoint drawings
Lauren Amalia Redding, “Libra Portrait of Brett,” 2019, silverpoint, watercolor, silverleaf, and copperleaf on hand gessoed panel, 18 x 16 in.

“Argentum: Contemporary Silverpoint” will run from October 18 through November 20, 2019. The opening reception will be on Friday, October 18, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., during which the curator will be present. Hillsdale College’s Daughtrey Gallery, located in the Sage Center for the Arts, is located at 81 East College Street, Hillsdale, Michigan.

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