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February 11th, 2005
Challenge #3 in the Dene M. Louchheim Galleries of the Fleisher Art Memorial, March 18 through April 16, 2005

The Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial presents the third exhibition in the twenty-seventh season of the four-part Challenge Series -- the Delaware Valley’s premier juried artist exhibition program. This season’s twelve Challenge artists were selected from a field of 255 applicants to exhibit in one of four three-person exhibitions. The third of this year’s Challenge Exhibitions features the work of artists Ephraim Russell, Kate Stewart, and Julie York. Each of these artists -- like a magician -- presents the viewer with images that raise questions as to what one is really seeing. The exhibition begins Friday, March 18 with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and continues through April 16. Both the exhibition and the opening reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with additional viewing hours of 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday.

Ephraim Russell’s painted aluminum sculptures appear at first glance to be familiar machines or functional objects. Russell states: "I am interested in objects that are highly specialized to do nothing and are designed to maintain a vague recognizability - keeping things familiar but always ambiguous. I suppose the objective is to capture a sense of usefulness without having to provide the use." Mr. Russell received his B.F.A. from the Virginia Commonwealth University and his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Kate Stewart’s acrylic paintings have a graphic quality, each filled with fields of rich color and light. Stewart explores conventions of space and interior design in architectural space. Stewart is compelled to tell a story about surroundings that are normally ignored as being too banal for consideration – such as corners, openings in walls, and baseboards. Ms. Stewart received her B.A. from Dickinson College her M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Julie York uses slip cast clay to mimic objects produced by industry. York assembles collections of objects (funnels, cups, appliances, food items, etc.) within illuminated acrylic forms, transforming the way in which the objects are read or perceived. Presented in this way, each piece takes on a pristine and surreal quality. While the objects are arresting, the viewer is forced to bring their own meaning to this mysterious work. Ms. York received her B.F.A. from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (Vancouver BC) and her M.F.A. from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

On Saturday, April 2, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., artist/teacher Mary Murphy will lead the Challenge "TalkAbout" gallery discussion. Admission is free.

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