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Challenge 2
Opening Reception: Friday, January 15th, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
"Talkabout" Gallery Discussion: Saturday, February 20th, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM

The Fleisher Art Memorial presents the second exhibition in the thirty-second season of the three-part Wind Challenge Exhibitions at Fleisher — the Delaware Valley's premier juried artist exhibition program. This season's nine Challenge artists were selected from a field of 368 applicants to exhibit in one of three three-person exhibitions. The second of this year's Challenge Exhibitions features paintings by Abbey Ryan, photographs by Sarah Stolfa, and a textile installation by Heather Ujiie.

The exhibition begins on Friday, January 15th, with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, and continues through March 6th, 2010.

Both the exhibition and the opening reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Saturday.

About the Artists

Abbey Ryan's silhouetted shapes act as both distillations and idealizations of forms that create a dynamic energy. Using layer after layer of ink wash, she activates and vibrates the relationship between figure and ground. Although each wash of ink is identical, over-saturation of the paper causes subtle color separation and value variations. The phenomena brings out on the tensional play between the forms.

Ms. Ryan received her BFA from Arcadia University, and her MFA from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Image: Abbey Ryan, 4695, 2008, ink and sumi on paper, 19.75 x 19.75 inches

Sarah Stolfa analyzes a seemingly disparate America using photography, drawing on different faces and locations. Stolfa contends that the American experience harbors an undercurrent of trauma and isolation that manifests itself so fully in the mundane and that a simple act when closely examined can become complex and spectacular. The subjects in these instances become allegories of the community that examine the back stage view of how people and industry present a more nuanced public face.

Ms. Stolfa received her BS from Drexel University, and her MFA from Yale University School of Art.

Image: Sarah Stolfa, Las Vegas, NV, 2008, archival pigment print, 24 x 30 inches

Heather Ujiie's textile installations fluidly cross the line between art and design. Using digital inkjet technology she prints on panels of cotton and silk. Her studio practice draws from both aesthetics, referencing everything from 19th-century botanical studies to filmographic animation. Ujiie focuses on stories of transformation, metamorphosis, and transcendence. At Fleisher Ujiie presents a site specific installation that envelops the viewer and brings magic and mystery back into our lives.

Ms. Ujiie received her BS from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and her MA from Brooklyn College.

Image: Heather Ujiie, detail: The Garden of Eden, 2007, digital inkjet print on dupionni silk

On Saturday, February 20th, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM, Fleisher hosts the Challenge TalkAbout, an in-depth moderated dialogue with these Challenge artists and audience. Admission is free.

Fleisher's exhibition programs are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program of The Pew Charitable Trusts, and donations from more than 2,000 student members and friends.