Monday, September 30, 2013

3 Graces for Environmental Awareness

Homage to George Frederick Watts
(23 February 1817 – 1 July 1904)  a popular English Victorian painter and sculptor associated with the Symbolist movement. Watts became famous in his lifetime for his allegorical works, such as Hope (see image) and Love and Life. These paintings were intended to form part of an epic symbolic cycle called the "House of Life", in which the emotions and aspirations of life would all be represented in a universal symbolic language

"3 Graces for Environmental Awareness" a photographic art project by Ann Tracy, opens its inaugural exhibit with an artist's reception on First Friday, Oct 4th from 5 to 8 pm at Akari, 193 Middle Street, Portland Maine.  Tracy has recreated seven of the famous Three Graces paintings (including those by Raphael and  Botticelli) throughout art history as a series of photographs of 21st century women, but with a modern bite.  The Graces were protectors of vegetation and in Tracy's vision, they call for not only awareness but personal action as well.  Using her signature colorful, digitally manipulated style these Graces, part of Aphrodite's retinue in legend, mean business as well as merriment.  The work can be seen throughout the month of October at Akari.

"I can't thank Allan Labos, Akari owner, quite enough for this opportunity to show this new work," said Tracy.  "He generously agreed to show the 3 Graces in his space and host a reception.  Between this and the generosity of all the donors through US Artists Project plus matching grants from Maine Arts Commission and US Artists; I'm almost overwhelmed.  I'm also grateful that Environment Maine and the Portland Trails folks will be attending with their information on how we all can help mitigate our current climate crisis."

In addition to being accepted into the US Artists Project, Tracy is a member of the Maine Artists Collaborative whose work is also shown at Constellation Gallery, 511 Congress St. in Portland, as well as the Digital Arts Guild based in San Diego.  Her work has been recently published in Artscope (July-Aug  2013), a New England Art & Culture magazine and one of her photographs is the Juror's Selection for the New York Center for Photographic Arts' "Water 2013" show at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art, 138 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012 (September 24 through October 6, 2013).  In December, Tracy brings the 3 Graces to the Spectrum Art Fair during Art Basel in Miami.

As a program of United States Artists, the nonprofit grant-making and advocacy organization for artists, USA Projects is uniquely aware of the needs of the artist community and provides an active support network and education program for artists. Donations simultaneously support artists’ projects and the nonprofit mission of United States Artists: to invest in America’s finest artists and to illuminate the value of artists to society.

All of the artists seeking funding on USA Projects have been recognized for the caliber and impact of their work. Eligibility is currently open to honorees and grantees from prominent international, national, regional, and local organizations, including the USA Fellows program. Additional qualifying organizations are added on an ongoing basis. National partner organizations include American Composers Forum, Film Independent, Creative Capital, Franklin Furnace, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), National Performance Network (NPN), Penland School of Crafts, the Pollack-Krasner Foundation, and Rhizome. Regional partner organizations include the Arkansas Arts Council, Artist Foundation of San Antonio, Austin Film Society, California Community Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, McKnight Foundation, North Carolina Arts Council, PEW Center for Arts & Heritage, and South Carolina Arts Commission. Seed funding for USA Projects was provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Images of the all work will be uploaded next weekend, after the reception.
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