Lower Marion artist-in-residence Elizabeth Wilson’s upcoming solo museum exhibition, “Elizabeth Wilson: Spirit of Place,” will feature 30 landscape paintings that trace her life over the past two decades through travel and isolation from the pandemic.
The exhibition will run from September 2 to December 4, 2022 at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) in Altoona, PA. A public reception will be held on Saturday, September 3rd from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.
Elizabeth Wilson is a representative artist from Philadelphia who grew up in the town of Haverford. Her paintings are described as little gems that sparkle and have a quiet energy. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in 1984 with a four-year certificate, she became a painter and a prolific artist. She studied at the Corcoran School of the Arts before transferring to PAFA for a more focused and disciplined education. She was a longtime art teacher in the Philadelphia area. Elizabeth has exhibited extensively across the United States in curated and juried exhibitions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Asheville Art Museum, National Academy of Design, PAFA, and many others. Her works are held in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States, England and Ireland. Public collections include the Pennsylvania State Museum, Woodmere Museum of Art, and Bryn Mawr College, among others. Her exhibition at SAMA was her 15th solo exhibition.
In her first solo museum exhibition, Elizabeth’s paintings document the spirit of the area. Wilson’s fascination with cloud formations and the subtlety of light in quiet landscapes runs through all of her work and reads like poetic musings. Her works embody a strong sense of time, place and visual harmony, achieved in part through a balance of precision and careful editing that sometimes veers towards abstraction. She believes that traveling provides her with a rich source of subjects and new ideas. Whether it’s English countryside and small village architecture, majestic views from an ancient Italian city, massive cliffs along Long Island Sound, a rocky peak in Arcadia National Park in Maine, or her own backyard.
Known primarily for its landscapes of the British Isles; the exhibition offers a wider scope of her work. The last works were written during the pandemic. Wilson notes that the social isolation of the pandemic was broken by daily walks in the nearby woods, which became a ritual necessity and turned into a series of paintings. In them, she subtly captured the complexity of textures, color tapestries and linear elements. She compared the forest to a giant stage that evolves and changes with the time of day, the weather and the seasons. As the pandemic continued, Elizabeth revisited the subjects previously depicted; working in the studio, referring to old paintings, sketches, photographs, memory and sometimes working from the imagination. She re-explored a coveted spot from the past: the rocky beaches of Long Island Sound in the North Fork and the Roman Campania in Italy, where she had visited and worked several years earlier. She notes that creating paintings from the logistical distance of memory that possess freshness, a strong sense of place and vividness of atmosphere was a difficult task.
NAME OF THE EXHIBITION:
Elizabeth Wilson: Spirit of Place
Southern Allegheny Museum of Art (SAMA)
1210 11th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
September 2 – December 4, 2022