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January 26th, 2006
Wind Challenge #4 Closes 28th Season of Juried Exhibitions in Fleisher's Dene M. Louchheim Galleries, February 17 through March 18, 2006

The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial presents the final exhibition in the twenty-eighth season of the four-part Wind Challenge Series at Fleisher – the Delaware Valley’s premier juried artist exhibition program. This season’s twelve Challenge artists were selected from a field of 278 applicants to exhibit in one of four three-person exhibitions. The last of this season’s Challenge Exhibitions features the work of artists Robert Goodman, Sebastien Leclercq, and Nancy Middlebrook.

The Challenge 4 exhibition begins with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 17, and continues through March 18. Both the exhibition and the opening reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; additional hours are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday (closed March 15).

Robert Goodman’s bold energetic paintings present landscapes in moments of flux. Earthquakes, explosions, and other disasters provide examples of conceived transitional forces that demonstrate shifts in a world where space becomes increasingly complicated. Physical relations to the environment are replaced by a spatially violent order. Mr. Goodman received his B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art and his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Sebastien Leclercq’s installation examines the anxiety that comes from acquiring knowledge based on illusions. Leclerq plays with one’s perceptions with devices like framed holes in walls, framed photographs of spaces and people, murals, and masking tape drawings applied directly on the wall. The illusions he creates bring uncertainty into play for the viewer. Mr. Leclercq received his B.F.A. from the University of Washington and his M.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art.

Fiber artist Nancy Middlebrook’s weavings explore abstract color relationships through the double weave process. Middlebrook expresses change, movement, transition, perspective, and depth in her fiber works. She hand dyes the yarns for her work and finds inspiration for her art in all aspects of the process from setting up the loom to the act of weaving itself. Ms. Middlebrook studied with renowned fiber artist Warren Seelig.

Artist/teacher Mary Murphy will lead the Challenge “TalkAbout” gallery discussion on Saturday, March 4, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial is best known as the country’s oldest and largest free and low-tuition visual arts program for adults and children. Founded as the Graphic Sketch Club in 1898, Fleisher has been a vital educational resource that includes instruction in the visual arts, exhibitions, concerts, and interpretation of its historic buildings and permanent collection. The Fleisher Art Memorial has been administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art since the death of Samuel S. Fleisher in 1945.

Fleisher exhibition programs are supported in part by Dina and Jerry Wind and from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program of The Pew Charitable Trusts, and donations from more than 2,000 student members and friends.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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