The Wind Challenge Exhibition Series
Established in 1978, the Wind Challenge Exhibition Series is an annual juried competition that is committed to enriching and expanding people's lives through art. Three Wind Challenge Exhibitions are held from September through May, featuring the work of exceptional artists living in the Philadelphia region.
Since 1978, the Wind Challenge Exhibition series has introduced regional contemporary art from over three hundred artists to a broad audience and has helped emerging artists advance their professional careers. Past Wind Challenge artists include photographer Robert Asman and sculptor Syd Carpenter, both of whom were later awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts; beloved Fleisher teaching artist Charlotte Yudis; and brothers Billy and Stephen Dufala, winners of the 2009 West Prize. In 2011, a series of free-public programs led by the artists was introduced, designed to enhance the viewing experience for youth and adults.
This year's nine Wind Challenge Artists were chosen from a field of 247 applicants to exhibit their work in one of three three-artist exhibitions.
September 14 – October 21, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 6:00-8:00 PM
The 35th annual Wind Challenge Exhibition Series, the Delaware Valley’s premier juried exhibition program, kicks-off with Wind Challenge 1, featuring new and recent work by multidisciplinary artist Ryan Kelly, painter and drawer Erin Murray, and mixed media artist Bohyun Yoon.
The form of Ryan Kelly’s work and its subject matter are in a looping dialogue. They find commonality in the theme of the solitary figure, a figure from history or myth, engaged in labor. These semi-universal characters out of history, popular culture and collective understanding, serve both as an entry point for viewers, and as a jumping off point into the artist’s own internal struggles and observations.
Right: Ryan Kelly, "Let me be your scapegoat", Performance stills, 2010
Through her recent paintings and drawings of vernacular architecture, Erin Murray draws out the embedded information inherent in all human-built structures. On this seemingly abandoned empty stage one can understand a building as an extension or representation of the human body and human psyche, just as much as it is a simple container of those things.
Right: Erin Murray, "P.O Box", Graphite, 22 x 22 inches, 2012
Bohyun Yoon examines in his work how reality becomes exquisitely animated by certain social control systems like politics, mass media, science, and technology. His current work questions technology’s relationship to reality and illusion in order to explore human perception’s parallel development with the ever-evolving progression of the technological world. Using mirrors and representations of the body, Yoon takes advantage of illusion to cut, extend, distort, reconstruct, and fragment the body, producing a chaotic image of a human.
Right: Bohyun Yoon, "Neighbors", Steel, Silkscreened Glass, Clamp, Wire, 120 x 120 x 80 inches, 2011
October 6: Mazeppa, a Performance by Ryan Wilson Kelly
Departing from commonality, the action remains repetitive in Mazeppa. Kelly rides a stationary rocking horse throughout the performance, presenting a looping reality that resembles the inner struggle of the individual.
October 14: "Boring" Architecture Tour - Looking for Meaning in Common Buildings
Fleisher Art Memorial
What do our buildings tell us about ourselves? This walking tour and lecture will examine the embodied information that can be found in all of our built structures by looking at a few examples in the Fleisher neighborhood.
The tour is free and open to the public. It will begin at Fleisher and last for one hour.
October 20: Bohyun Yoon Lecture
The Sanctuary at Fleisher Art Memorial
Bohyun Yoon will give a lecture that guides the audience through his career as an artist and offers a look into the "mirror realm," or the artist's unique use of optical illusions.
Bohyun Yoon is gifted at creating startling optical illusions by which he artfully disassembles and reconfigures the human body into a variety of arresting and provocative formations. Using diverse techniques and materials including mirrors, live nude models, cleverly edited digital video and simple shadow play, Yoon illustrates an acute disconnect between body and soul.
This event will be held in The Sanctuary on Saturday, October 20 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
December 7 – February 13, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, December 7, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The 35th annual Wind Challenge Exhibition Series continues with Wind Challenge 2, featuring new and recent work by photographer Micah Danges, Bill Gerhard, and digital artist Tim Portlock.
Photographer Micah Danges’ series of “cut-out” landscape photographs of the Western United States show cliffs, canyons, and quarries. The various topographies have been desaturated and appear soft and flattened. Archival digital prints are mounted to acrylic, and areas of the image excised, revealing painted aluminum forms that are placed behind the photograph. The resulting relationships between the forms and materials reference Photoshop techniques, mapping, and collage. The formal decisions and imperfections within the work are informed by ledges, pools, and other natural land formations.
Right: Micah Danges, “Popi’s Island”, Archival Pigment Print, 26.5x36 inches, 2010
Bill Gerhard presents a series of site-generated representations of light and time. His black sheets of paper, which were exposed to predetermined amounts of sunlight, are a collection of photogenic drawings that record the intensity and duration of sunlight.
Right: Bill Gerhard, “One Month Exposures (1/2011 – 12/2011)”, Sun-faded Black Papers, 9x6 inches each, 2011
Tim Portlock uses computer game-making software to produce virtual cityscapes based on familiar, real-world objects and structures, abandoned buildings, and foreclosed homes. His work portrays conventions of the traditional American landscape, which were current to a time when the country was defining itself, and applies them to a present day subject matter. The resulting bleak and sometimes apocalyptic images hint at a past way of life and expectations while simultaneously pointing to a whole range of current social dynamics.
Right: Tim Portlock, “Salon”, Special Effects and Digital Print, 54 x 72 inches, 2011
Join us in the Sanctuary as the Wind Challenge 2 artists discuss and demonstrate their artwork.
Family Talk-About with the artists
Bill Gerhard will unveil a month-long project using Fleisher's stained glass windows and share his process with the public.
Tim Portlock will design one of his digital landscapes live at Fleisher.
Micah Danges will curate three musical projects including: Snow Beach, Mary Lattimore, and Jeff Zeigler.
This event will be held in The Sanctuary on Saturday, January 26 and is free and open to the public.
April 5, 2013 – May 11, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The 35th annual Wind Challenge Exhibition Series concludes with Wind Challenge 3, featuring new and recent work by Julianna Foster, multi-disciplinary artist Elizabeth Hamilton, and mixed-media artist Jake Kehs.
Julianna Foster presents Swell, a series that depicts a fantastic event that allegedly occurred last year in a small coastal town. As the story goes, a nor’easter was forming in the Atlantic Ocean from the remnants of a Hurricane when several residents reported seeing something they had never witnessed before—and have never seen since.
Like the Kirkwood Series, Foster’s previous series of images that explored similar themes and subject matter, Swell operates on several levels to recount the stories of what happened through a series of photographs. These images teeter between fact and fiction, interpretation and perception, allowing for imagined scenarios and constructed realities to represent rather than illustrate these alleged experiences.
Right: Julianna Foster, “Kirkwood Series #8”, Inkjet Print, 24x16.5 inches, 2011
Elizabeth Hamilton’s series of work is a meditation on the phrase Everything Must Go, which also serves as the title of the collection. This phrase elicits feelings of comfort and anxiety simultaneously. Through photography and installation, Hamilton explores the co-dependent relationship between fear and joy and the seemingly contradictory feelings a phrase like “everything must go” produces.
Right: Elizabeth Hamilton, “Balloons (November)”, Digital Print, 36x50 inches, 2010
The work of Jake Kehs stems from his lifelong observations of nature and concern for humankind’s relationship with it. Where some have sought to contain, disguise, tame, or even destroy nature, Kehs seeks to expose and celebrate it, all while commenting on our relationship to nature. His work sets up a contrast between the untamed beauty of nature and the social structures that are fearful of nature.
Right: Jake Kehs, “Coyote”, Found Fabric, Table Legs, Timberland Boot, Baseball, Dish Plates, Umbrella Spokes, Computer Wires, 30x55 inches, 2010
Public ProgramsSaturday, April 20
1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Jake Kehs will lead a "Balloon-Mail Project," releasing bio-degradable balloons filled with pictures throughout Philadelphia's sky. As part of Elizabeth Hamilton's "Everything Must Go!" project she will have a Yard Sale at her outdoor installation here at Fleisher. Senior Lecturer Nancy Brokaw from UArts will moderate a panel discussion of Julianna Foster's exhibition. firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-922-3456, ext. 333.