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Shelter

June 6 - August 22, 2009

 

The Polk Museum of Art is featuring the exhibition, Shelter, from June 6 through August 22, 2009. Shelter features works from the Museum's Permanent Collection that depict artists' representations of the concept of shelter.

"The idea of a shelter can be anything from a physical enclosure to emotional security," said Todd Behrens, Curator of Art. "Sometimes shelter is a state of mind in which one feels safe and protected. Sometimes shelter is simply a physical structure that leads to that state of mind. We have a lot of great pieces in our Collection that touch on those concepts in some way. Some of them are serious and poignant; others are more whimsical. All of these artworks point to the fact that art, as an outlet for personal expression, is itself a form of shelter for many artists."

Shelter will feature a wide range of works, including many by residents throughout Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area such as Steven S. Gregory (Tampa), John Gurbacs (Tampa), Holly Hambrick (Ormond Beach), Virginia beth Shields (Lakeland), and Robert Stackhouse (St. Petersburg).

 

(above: John W. Butler, The Front Porch, 1999, Oil on canvas, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2003.13,  Purchase through Mayfaire by-the-Lake Funds)

 

(above: Steven S. Gregory, Back Porch, 2005, C-print, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2005.8.2, Purchase Award, Mayfaire by-the-Lake through General Acquisition Fund)

 

(above: Virginia Beth Shields, Cotton House, 2000, Wood, tin, cotton and cotton thread spools, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2003.15, Gift of the artist)

 

(above: Joey Smollon, American, 1927-2001, Black People Get Hungry, Too!, 1935, ca. 1997, Acrylic, pen and collage on paper mounted on canvasboard, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2004.17.3, Gift of Jane Backstrom)

 

Wall labels for the exhibition

 

Miriam Schapiro
American, b. 1923, Canada
The Poet, 1983
Acrylic and fabric collage on canvas
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2000.7
Purchased through donations by Mr. and Mrs. Rhett Barker, Sue Bentley, Mr. and Mrs. W. Wm. Ellsworth, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Tip Fowler, Dr. Jane Carver Holmes, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Macey, Dr. and Mrs. Tom McLaughlin, Norma Roth, Dr. and Mrs. David Taxdal, Anne T. Tucker, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Weeks, and Barbara Fowler Wilson; Carol and Steven Boyington, Kristen and Dan Gunter, Lois Harrison, and Lisa and Robert Rath; Terri and Joe D'Orsaneo, Dr. and Mrs. John Fargher, Bonnie Franks, Wendy Hall, Alfred and Lucille Pfund, Dr. and Mrs. James Rogers, Catherine and Daniel Stetson, and Diane Van Dusen; the Docent Acquisition Fund, the Friends of the Polk Museum of Art, and the Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund.
 
Miriam Schapiro combines two symbols of women that she has repeatedly used in her work, the robe and the dress, in a way that is both serious and critical. "The Poet" represents the creative woman who finds herself framed and defined by the house as just another domestic object. Shelter can sometimes come with restrictions.
 
 
Joey Smollon
American, 1927-2001
Black People Get Hungry, Too!, 1935, ca. 1997
Acrylic, pen and collage on paper mounted on canvasboard
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2004.17.3
Gift of Jane Backstrom
 
Joey Smollon grew up in Washington Heights in New York City, the memories of which are the subject of most of his paintings. He painted sporadically throughout his life, creating dreamy landscapes that belied the turmoil in his life. In the mid-90s, traveling from Pennsylvania, his car broke down in Lakeland; with little money, he stayed and began painting again. At this time Smollon painted from memory: the Depression, NYC, the Merchant Marines, romances. In this painting he returned to his childhood during the Depression, recalling a time when churches and other charitable organizations became increasingly important as places for comfort and basic needs.
 
 
Steven S. Gregory
American, b. 1962
Back Porch, 2005
C-print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2005.8.2
Purchase Award, Mayfaire by-the-Lake through General Acquisition Fund
 
 
Cathey "Yehtac" Kalista
American, b. 1934
Untitled (Church Service), ca. 2004
Acrylic and glitter on plywood
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2005.10.9
Gift of Rodney C. Hardee
 
 
René Pauli
American, 1935-1999, b. Switzerland
Landscape #26, Mission District, San Francisco, CA, 1995/1998
Tri-color carbon print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2006.28
Gift of Bob and Malena Puterbaugh
 
 
Henry Poe
American, b. 1944
In the Still of the Night, 1988
Gelatin silver print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1989.11
Purchase Award, Mayfaire by-the-Lake through General Acquisition Fund
 
 
Ibrahim Miranda
Cuban, b. 1969
Lagrimas Negras, 2000
Screen print and woodblock print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2000.17
Graphicstudio Subscription Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
Miranda places a stylized, weeping self-portrait on top of a print based from a 16th-century map of the Florida straits. The work points to the dramatic relationship shared by Cuba and the United States during their histories. It also indicates that islands can serve as shelters from outside threats, while also isolating residents from the benefits of life beyond the island.
 
 
Robert Stackhouse
American, b. 1942
Red Encounterings, 1992
4-color spitbite/aquatint/etching
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1993.14
Graphicstudio Subscription Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
Stackhouse's first work in his Encounterings series consisted of a large A-frame structure through which visitors could walk. At the end was a painting of the head of a snake that greeted visitors at eye-level. Though Red Encounterings does not feature the snakehead of Stackhouse's sculptural work, it does demonstrate that shelter is not necessarily free from danger. This is particularly true if we seek shelter by ourselves, where our imaginations might be greater than we anticipate.
 
 
Maria Emelia
American, b. 1946, Cuba
Offerings to the Head of John the Baptist, 1985-86
Oil and gold leaf on canvas
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1993.21
Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
Emelia created this painting from childhood memories of learning the story of Salome and John the Baptist. She sympathized with Salome, who was forced by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist as reward for her dance at the birthday of her step-father, King Herod. In her depiction, she offers her own head on a platter and places self-portraits of herself as a young girl on either side of Salome. All three figures are placed within a structure that is both classic architecture and the buildings of her native Cuba.
 
 
Leonora Carrington
Mexican, b. 1917, England
The Memory Tower, 1995
Intaglio print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1995.32
Graphicstudio Subscription Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
Carrington is an internationally renowned surrealist painter and novelist, who moved to Paris in the 1930s and then onto Mexico. Her stories and art depict imaginary places and creatures. In this case, she presents the importance of memory by depicting a tower, or shelter, for its use.
 
 
Birney Imes
American, b. 1951
The Magic Star, Falcon, MS, 1984, 1984
C-print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2009.9.1
Gift of Bob and Malena Puterbaugh
 
Imes was born in Columbus, Mississippi, where he still lives and serves as the owner and editor the Columbus Dispatch. This photograph comes from his book, Juke Joint, originally published in 1990. His fascination with the colorful ambience of Mississippi juke joints and their social significance within the African-American community led him to use them as subjects for his photographs. Though this work has value as a documentary of history (juke joints are mostly extinct now), they are also poignant reminders of the types of retreats that existed in times of segregation. In Imes's work, the people, the spaces, and the physical structures merge into a single expression of the distinctively vivid atmosphere of the juke joints.
 
 
Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Japanese, 1839-92
Dark: The appearance of a wife during the Meiji era, 1888
Woodblock print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1995.39.27
Gift of G. E. Robert Meyer
 
This work comes from a series of prints by Tsukioka titled 32 Aspects of Women. It depicts his idea of different emotions or qualities of women while also showing them in the fashion of different historic eras.
 
This lady has just woken from an afternoon nap. It is getting dark and she is lighting the twisted paper which of an oil lamp, probably from the coals which glow red in the fire-bucket to her right. That it is early evening rather than morning is indicated by the winter kimono that she is wearing -- at night she would wear a yukata and probably drape her kimono over the lamp.
 
 
Holly Hambrick
American
Primal Image (Series I), 1997
Bamboo, paper, fiber, casing and sinew
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1998.19
Purchase Award, Mayfaire by-the-Lake through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
 
Suzanne Camp Crosby
American, b. 1948
Dinosaur Dreams, 1986
C-print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1987.5
Purchase Award, 1987 All-Florida Biennial
 
Wanting to take a photograph of her son's bedroom, Crosby was unable to use him as a "model" because her nighttime shot required a 25-minute exposure. One night while tucking him in, she noticed how strange the night light made the room and its contents appear, and yet how comfortable her son was within that odd environment.
 
 
Virginia Beth Shields
American, b. 1967
Cotton House, 2000
Wood, tin, cotton and cotton thread spools
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2003.15
Gift of the artist
 
Much of the work by Lakeland artist Virginia Beth Shields is a study of the connections between her ancestry and the wider sphere of rural Southern culture. Her family members were sharecroppers and few physical reminders of her grandparents still exist. Therefore, memory plays a vital role. Cotton House, a rustic shack overflowing with cotton and spools of thread, was created from her memory of a story told by her grandmother and a subsequent dream she had. The story and dream were about picking so much cotton off the bolls indoors during bad weather that the cotton literally took over the house and spilled from the doors and windows.
 
 
Ward Shelley
American, b. 1950
Security Camera (Voo Doo), 1988
Wood, aluminum and electronic mixed media
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1991.16
Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
 
Judith Powers-Jones
American, b. 1949
Racing History Seemed a Carefree Pastime Until the Tempest was Declared the Winner, ca. 1988
Mixed media
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1989.10
Purchase Award, Mayfaire by-the-Lake through General Acquisition Fund
 
 
William Renc
American, b. 1949
Not the Same Old Main Street, 1990
Pastel on paper
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1991.11
Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund
 
 
Fidencio Duran
American, b. 1961
Dejo Flores y Canciones, 1994
Screen print
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2001.14.4
Purchase through Funds Donated in Memory of William Joseph Lester and Elin Oak
 
 
Faith Ringgold
American, b. 1930
The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, 1996
Lithograph
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1997.17
Purchase through General Acquisition Fund
 
 
John W. Butler
American, 1961-2009
The Front Porch, 1999
Oil on canvas
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2003.13
Purchase through Mayfaire by-the-Lake funds
 
 
Tadayasu Sasayama
Japanese, b. 1939
Golden Space, undated (ca. 1970-1985)
Ceramic
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1988.5.17
Gift of Reverend Kurozumi Muneharu
 
 
Ginny Ruffner
American, b. 1952
The House of Glorious Mornings, 2009
Lamp worked glass and mixed media
Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2009.3
Purchased with funds from Mrs. Cornelia Waters, Andy and Rosa Hernandez, Homer Hooks and Lois Cowles Harrison, The Art Resource Trust, Anonymous Donors and funds donated in memory of Barbara G. Stetson


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