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Selma Bortner: Body of Work

October 30, 2004 - January 30, 2005


The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is proud to announce Selma Bortner: Body of Work, an exhibition of prints by one of Bucks County's most accomplished living artists. On view in the Fred Beans Gallery from October 30, 2004 through January 30, 2005, the exhibition will contain examples of Bortner's prints from the late 1960s to 2004, and will include her New Mexico landscape series as well as images she created in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Doylestown shelter A Woman's Place. (right: Selma Bortner, Women Running with Wolves, 1997, hand-colored linoleum print on paper, 22 x 30 inches, Collection of the artist)

Bortner's colorful, evocative prints have often focused on issues relating to self-awareness and the human body. Her pictures resemble the visual embodiment of dreams, with jarring, unexpected imagery and symbols that touch the imagination. As with dreams, her prints tell stories - both highly personal and, ultimately, universal. As the artist says, "What I put on paper becomes my most intuitive and profound effort to connect me to you and to all the rest of us."

From the "Aida" series that deals with Bortner's own battle with breast cancer, to images of car bomb victims in the Middle East, her work is charged with a rare emotional intensity, treating human experience at its most elemental level, in the forms of human bodies. As part of this retrospective, the Museum is especially proud to include several prints it commissioned in 2002 to honor the 25th anniversary of A Woman's Place, a Doylestown shelter for abused women.

Senior Curator Brian H. Peterson calls Bortner "a true master of the complex art and craft of printmaking," and describes her prints as "a record of passions aroused and connections made."

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Bortner studied at the Tyler School of Art and the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts), and taught in the Department of Fine Arts at Bucks County Community College from 1968 to 1991. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Pennell Memorial Medal in 1970 and 1971, and first prize from the American Color Print Society in 1995. Her work is featured in many collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, and the James A. Michener Art Museum. (right: Selma Bortner, The Journey, 1998, hand-colored linoleum print on paper, 24 x 36 inches, Collection of the artist)

In conjunction with the exhibition, Ms. Bortner will deliver an artist's lecture on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 at 1 pm in the Museum's Ann and Herman Silverman Pavilion.

The exhibit is sponsored by C&C Ford, Chapman Auto Group, Third Federal Bank, and Gige Interiors, Ltd., with additional support from Leslie and Frank Skilton and Maureen and Bill Harvey.

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Copyright 2003, 2004 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.