June Staff Recommendations

June Staff Recommendations

Frederick Mershimer, Cape Moon

Recommended by Rebecca (Gallery Manager):

Mershimer’s lovely ‘Cape Moon’ shows a moment in time, the late night or early morning in a small town; two houses and the parallel lives within, each with a light on while the rest of the town sleeps, one with flaking paint, the other with plants hanging in the window. There is so much nostalgia for quiet places and times in this piece, and private moments in the middle of the night, depicted in sharp beautiful contrast like a scene from a movie.

Frederick Mershimer, 'Cape Moon'. Two tall houses on a dark street with a gibbous moon shining between them.

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Mikio Watanabe, Sur la Branche

Recommended by Catherine (Collections Specialist):

Mikio Watanabe, 'Sur la Branche.' Nude figure sitting on a branch seen from behind, one leg folded up the other reaching down, figure is turning away from the viewer.

Mikio Watanabe is known for his elegant and evocative depictions of nude figures, and the mezzotint 'Sur la Branche' is a wonderful example. The subject emerges from a somber atmosphere of black & gray tones, bathed in a soft luminescence. She has positioned herself on the branch with perfect balance and intention, unbothered by the seemingly immeasurable height below, radiating peace and quiet agency. With her head turned away and her identity hidden from the viewer, she keeps this moment to herself, like a precious secret. To the viewer, it feels like a privilege to observe this serene celebration of her strength and grace.

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Jenny Schmid, DzR Landscape Scene

Recommended by Nikki (Fine Print Photographer & Content Publisher):

Jenny Schmid, 'DzR Landscape Scene.' Woman riding longboard down a river and man sitting on the bank reading a book.

In traditional western visual art, women are often depicted lounging and passive, while men are shown in active roles. Here, in Jenny Schmid’s imagined world of DzR, these roles are flipped. A skateboarding young woman is watching a lounging young man read a book. As she rides her skateboard, the young woman is literally breathing life and energy into the square scene built up of vibrant blues and oranges, offset by an analogous yellow background. Jenny Schmid’s work continues to grow in popularity with her contemporary takes on traditional ideas. This piece is one of her few left at Davidson Galleries still available for under $200.

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Ellen Heck, Two

Recommended by Suzannah (Marketing and Communications Manager):

Ellen Heck, 'Two.' Portrait of a child with wild hair, image obscured with a splash of light grey. The child holds two hearts to their chest.

There is an aching tenderness and familiarity in Ellen Heck’s portraits of young people. Each child is full of peace and personality, and the combination of woodcut and drypoint mediums produces playful blocks of color and precise feathery lines. I was particularly struck by “Two”, a portrait of a child obscured but looking directly out of the page, holding two hearts against their chest. Worked exclusively in grey tones, the child’s expression shows such freedom and soulfulness, an ineffable emotion and state of being that feels unreachable in adult life. The child does not wonder who they are or how they must be in the world. They simply are themself, and have never considered being otherwise.

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Tony Fitzpatrick, Elston Ave.

Recommended by Paige (Collections Manager):

Tony Fitzpatrick, 'Elston Ave.' Abstract image of a spotted bird, a person, a radio tower, and a building.

I find 'Elston Ave.' so interesting because it's a compression of a place into one image. To describe the experience of an entire city street is impossible, but here we see a version of Elston Avenue through the artist's eyes. His priorities, emphasis, symbols, and layers are borderline nonsensical, but full of texture and oddities that speak to his personal interpretation. I would love to take a walk down the avenue of Fitzpatrick's drawings.

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