OBJECT Project

Museum of Outdoor Arts

February 20 - May 23, 2009

Panel discussion, including most of the participating artists: Saturday February 21 at 4:30 pm
A reception will follow the panel at 6:00 pm

Artist Robert Jackson with "Object Project Food Fight" (left) and "Daredevil" (right)

While the "Colorado Abstract" flurry of activity is now winding down, a markedly different artistic vision is being offered up by the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood. "Object Project" brings together 15 contemporary realist artists each creating 2 pieces with a consistent thread of 5 objects spread across all the works: a clear glass of water, a moth, a ball of string, a bone, and a mirror. The artists tackle the reality of their objects from a variety of angles that are much more than mere "representation", rather each artist brings a subtle narrative or "composite of moments" (per artist Daniel Sprick) to their work. For most of the works, the end result is something familiar on the surface ("photographic" to the naive eye), but strangely disorienting and somewhat mystical on closer examination.

Many of the artists are also part of a tandem show at Gallery 1261 titled "Beyond the Object Project" which is an excellent complement to this notable exhibit. - KLH

Click here for pictures from the opening reception

Museum of Outdoor Arts
1000 Englewood Parkway
Englewood, CO 80110
Mon-Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


photos by Ken Hamel/DenverArts.org

Scott Fraser - Three Way Vanitas
(from the press release)

On February 20, the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood Colorado will open an exhibition of works by some of America’s leading proponents of contemporary realism. The exhibition, which is being traveled throughout the U.S. by the Evansville Museum, was curated by M. Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief of American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing, & Workshop Magazine.

The organizing concept for the OBJECT project is brilliant in both its simplicity and its depth. Fifteen artists agreed to create one multi-panel painting or two similarly sized paintings, with the stipulation being that five common objects (a clear glass of water, a moth, a ball of string, a bone, and a mirror) would appear in some fashion within those pictures. The artists committed themselves to incorporating the objects in any way they saw fit. The intention was to present paintings that would be unified by the five common objects and, at the same time, separated by the individual responses offered by each artist. It was assumed the final exhibition would be more about the unique vision of each artist than it would be about the repeated elements.

The OBJECT project exhibition came together through an extraordinary collaboration between contemporary realist artists and a museum. The show is exceptional because the artists initiated it and because the Evansville Museum agreed to host it before any of the pictures had been created. It is quite unusual for artists to effectively curate their own museum displays and for cultural institutions to commit their resources to an exhibition that doesn’t exist. Clearly, the concept was so compelling and the roster of participating artists was so strong that the entire program developed purely on faith.

The fifteen artists were interested in the challenges posed by the project, in the opportunity for like-minded, mid-career artists to collaborate, and in the questions that might be raised by the juxtaposition of paintings that were similar, yet remarkably varied. The artists started with an idea for an exhibition; they spent months hammering out a detailed plan; and then they devoted almost two years executing the artwork.

In his spirited and delightful catalogue essay, M. Stephen Doherty chronicles with a discerning eye, the journey that brought together ten men and five women from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences to lend their unique narrative visions to a compelling common goal. The artists in the exhibition include Steven Assael, Michael Bergt, Debra Bermingham, Deborah Deichler, Rob Evans, Scott Fraser, F. Scott Hess, Robert C. Jackson, Janet Monafo, Pamela Sienna, Daniel Sprick, Skip Steinworth, Nancy Switzer, Jeff Uffelman and Will Wilson. Fraser, Sprick and Switzer are Colorado residents.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum of Outdoor Arts will host a free panel discussion, which will include most of the participating artists, on February 21 at 4:30 p.m. A reception will follow the panel at 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

OBJECT project runs February 20th, 2009 through May 23rd, 2009 at the Museum of Outdoor Arts’ headquarters and indoor gallery on the second floor of the Englewood Civic Center, 1000 Englewood Parkway (at Hampden Avenue and Santa Fe Drive). The Museum is directly accessible from the Englewood light rail station. The museum is free to the public. Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday -Thursday, and 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Friday. Information at 303-806-0444 or www.moaonline.org.