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Indepth Arts News:

"Life Sentences - Mary Porterfield and Frank Bell"
2009-07-08 until 2009-08-31
Noyes Cultural Center
Evanston, IL, USA United States of America

The Noyes Cultural Center (NCC) is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Chicago artist, Mary Porterfield from July 8 through August 31, 2009. This, Porterfield's first show at the NCC, consists of large scale works produced over the past ten years, selected by the exhibition's curators, Chie Curley and Barbara Goldsmith. Porterfield’s canvases depict large, panoramic landscapes that reference nature’s force, in the form of geysers, tornados and volcanoes of Biblical proportion.

Within the larger landscape, and often forming the land, air and water masses themselves, are hundreds of figures – human, animal and mythic. These figures form allegorical scenes within the painting that the artist says refer to her experience as an occupational therapist to Alzheimer patients. In her statement, Porterfield writes, “The difficulties that my patients endure are a microcosm for a planet besieged with tragedies. Having been raised Catholic, I use religious imagery to describe the remorse I have over both my personal responsibility and limitations." These fragmented landscapes represent conditions that are out of control, both literally and figuratively. Porterfield use space, form and process to bring unity to these shattered worlds.

Mary Porterfield received her Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University in Tempe. Her paintings have been featured in seven solo shows and selected for exhibitions by museum curators nationwide. Porterfield is the recipient of numerous honors for her work, including two Community Artist Assistance Program grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and a Ragdale Foundation Artist Residency. Currently, Porterfield teaches art at Northeastern University and the Harrington College of Design in Chicago.


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