Hungry Ghosts, a solo exhibition of recent work by Washington, D.C.-based artist Helen Frederick, will be on view at Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery from August 29 — September 23, 2011.
Born in 1945, Frederick is recognized as an artist using a variety of media — printmaking, artist books, electronic media and installation art — as a basis for social commentary. She earned her BFA and MFA at Rhode Island School of Design. She serves as a professor in the School of Art, George Mason University, and is the founding director of Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Maryland. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally, including venues in Europe, Japan, Greece, Vietnam, Scandinavia and India. Frederick is a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence and Leadership in the Arts in Maryland, a Fulbright fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation fellowship. Her work is included in numerous prominent collections, including the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Corcoran Gallery of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, Kyoto Museum of Modern Art, among others.
Frederick received the 2008 Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphics Council, the highest national award of recognition from the largest organization for print artists in the world, for her leadership in the field and her artistry. She supports the Washington DC community as a creative force, scholar, curator, and collaborator with major institutions and links to international cultural projects. Prior to her exhibition at Mary Baldwin, her most recent solo exhibition, Dissonance, was shown last spring at the Eleanor Wilson Art Museum at Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia. At this same time, Frederick was the Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence at Hollins. Mary Baldwin University and Hollins University are collaborating to produce a catalog documenting both the exhibition, Dissonance at Hollins and Hungry Ghosts at Mary Baldwin.
Through her art, Frederick conveys impassioned perceptions and concepts about human history and natural ecology, the interrelations and implications of physical endurance, loss, memory, timely convergences, life and death. Her free associations, with a sequentially driven aesthetic, move through juxtaposed layers of photo images, writing, and printed textual information, using images drawn from widely varied sources, such as news media, personal memoriam, philosophical icons, and linguistic “word play.” Her artistic narrative follows her own inner dialog, the walking of pathways, contemplation on observations, the metaphor of place, and witnessing of collective memories.
The work in Hungry Ghosts at Mary Baldwin is from a body of artist-made paperworks that are created with the objective of mitigating darkness, particularly the darkness of our times where so many innocent lives are lost through tragic events and circumstances such as the recent bombing and murders in Norway or the tsunami in Japan. By hand-forming materials that are fragile, fugitive, translucent and layered, various fusions of visual experience are constructed in the works, all of which are guided by a noted Tibetan invocation, the hungry ghosts — a concept referring to the lingering, unfulfilled souls of those whose lives on earth have been unjustly cut short.
A reception will be held for the artist on Monday, August 29, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend. Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the College’s academic year.