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Moving Mountains - Alyce Frank and Barbara Zaring


The Harwood Museum will present a two-person exhibition, Moving Mountains - Alyce Frank and Barbara Zaring with a special reception for the artists on January 20, 2002 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Moving Mountains represents a unique model for creativity. Zaring and Frank have painted the landscape together in plein air (open air) twice a week for twenty-five years. They formed a dynamic partnership while maintaining separate art careers. The thirteen paired oils presented in this exhibition were painted side by side all over the West. These paintings. constitute a bold, dramatic display and an unusual opportunity to observe the visual relationship of two artists. (left: Alyce Frank, Snowy Ranchos Valley, 1991, oil, 40 x 52 inches)

The show is accompanied by a forty-eight page catalog that illustrates all of the paintings included. It also contains an introduction by Harwood Curator David L. Witt, and essays by Leda Silver and Kate M. O'Neill, Ed.D.

The artists will give a gallery talk on their show at the Harwood on Thursday, January 24th at 7:30 pm. Admission is three dollars and free for Harwood Museum Alliance members.

The exhibition will continue at the Harwood through March 17 before traveling to two other venues in 2002. The exhibition schedule:


Notes on the Moving Mountains Exhibition

David L. Witt, Curator, Harwood Museum of Art


If every painting is not just the product of the hours of its making, but also the years of experience behind those hours, then so too is it with the creation of an exhibition. Our experience in the viewing is one of immediacy in interacting with the pictures as they are now in this setting. But they carry with them as well, a larger history. The exhibition, as well as each piece included, is a function of time. (left: Barbara Zaring, Ranchos in the Snow II, 1991, oil, 32 x 42 inches)

Barbara Zaring and Alyce Frank have painted together for nearly three decades, interpreting in their individual ways the vibrancy and grandeur of the Southwest landscape. It is that element of time that underlies this show. It is more than the few hours it took to install, more than the days accumulated over months of planning. This exhibition has been nearly thirty years in the making.

This artistic story is therefore one not only of images created, but is also one about an artistic relationship. It is not clear how much influence one artist has had on how the other paints - although one suspects not a great deal. These paintings are not matched at random but are sets made on a particular day when each artist set out her own interpretation of the land at a specific moment in time painting side by side. Here we see matched together two perceptions, built simultaneously, yet entirely individual.

This kind of pairing covering such a long period of time is unusual in the museum setting, especially as the work was painted out in the landscape. Plein air (in the open air) painting requires a combination of speed and precision to account for changing weather conditions as well as the passing of the day's hours and the changing angle of the sun. There is also in this show a pair of floral still life images as well as a pair of portraits, made with equal aplomb.


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