Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 An Art Day in York, PA

This past Saturday Barry and I drove into York to meet a friend for lunch.  We arrived early to shop at  Central Market and also catch up on new works at Marketview Arts which is, as you may suspect, across from Central Market.  The main level of Marketview Arts is the Gallery and Welcome Center for the Pennsylvania Arts Experience, the lower level has studio space for rent as well as a small gallery for  the York Art Association.  The second floor is auxiliary studio space for York College art students.  The third floor was a ballroom in the days when the building belonged to a fraternal brotherhood.  There are the initials F.O.E. on a stained glass panel over the door.  It might be the Fraternal Order of the Eagle (?)  I'll have to look that one up later.   Now the ballroom can be rented for events.   Currently the space is filled to the brim with an installation by artist-in residence, Wayne White.  The exhibit is called FOE (an installation), which will run through May 20, 2014.   If you're not familiar with Wayne White, see here for his biography and photos of his work.  I only knew him from the documentary about him: Beauty is Embarrassing.   I have some photos further below with additional comments on the exhibit.

Things seen Saturday in York:  pots of primroses and pansies, Snow White and six dwarfs, York Central Market,  a view from Esaan Thai Restaurant, my Honda Fit at the parking meter, mural at a traffic light.

Things seen while walking through the York College studios at Marketview Arts.
Views of FOE (an installation).  Wayne White is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee and says he was always interested in the Civil War history of his birthplace.  It was natural that he would find the Civil War history of York, Pennsylvania interesting as well.   To quote Wayne, "as I have said several times, I associate a sense of the past and the romance of history with art-making."  Wayne saw York with its history of manufacturing and industry during the Civil War as a culture shock to the southern soldiers who came to plunder the town and saw it as a place of riches and material abundance.  His giant figurative sculptures and puppets reflect a city of wonders.  Most of the southern soldiers entered the city barefoot.  Their general demanded shoes (among other things) and everything was supplied as well as money in return for not burning the city.  One of Wayne's figures is pulling on shoes--"….I am making a comment on the fact that art is a decadent indulgence just like these soldiers are having a decadent good time pulling on new shoes and what a universal gesture and motion that is."  This installation is fun and wondrous.

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