October 3, 2022

Themonet-ART

Adorn your Feelings

Pensacola Museum of Art’s 68th annual Members Show highlights over 80 works from across US

5 min read


Membership has its privileges. Just ask some of the members of the Pensacola Museum of Art who are showing their work in the PMA’s annual “Members Show,” that offers a core sample of local art and beyond.

“This year we have over 80 works from artists across the U.S. as well as work by two international artists,” said PMA Director Nick Croghan. “The only stipulation to be eligible for the show is to be a current member.”

Now in its 68th year, the show has matured into one of the most anticipated art events of the year. It runs through May 29.

The Pensacola Museum of Art currently features works of art created by its members in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit runs through May 29.

The Pensacola Museum of Art currently features works of art created by its members in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit runs through May 29.

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“I think our exhibition is unique in that it has been a tradition since the museum’s founding,” explained PMA Chief Curator Anna Wall. “Our founders introduced ‘The Members Show’ during the new art center’s first year as a way to honor and celebrate relationships between local artists and the institution.”

By the mid 2000’s the number of submissions for the show had overcome the museum’s capacity. This growing pain was assuaged with a juried format where a judge was brought in to narrow the field. This year’s juror was Carrie Ann Baade, a contemporary painter and associate professor of painting and drawing at Florida State University. She entered last year’s edition and won Best of Show.

“During the pandemic there were very few shows for artists,” explained Baade. “I was surprised that I had not heard of the PMA’s ‘Members Show’ before and I jumped at the chance to take part.”

The Pensacola Museum of Art currently features works of art created by its members in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit runs through May 29.

The Pensacola Museum of Art currently features works of art created by its members in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit runs through May 29.

Per tradition, the Best of Show winner is awarded a solo show the following year. Baade titled her victory lap “Into the Mirror,” which runs concurrently with this year’s “Members Show.” Baade describes herself as “steward and axman, returning to the haunting moments in art history in order to reclaim them.”

“Into the Mirror” is an introduction to her subversive interpretations of classical paintings where surreal narratives are churned from a Renaissance aesthetic. An example is her painting “Allegory of Bad Government,” which depicts a symbolistic feast realized as a mad tea party of broken dishes, a besuited frog, a sword-wielding beast, and other agnostic figures.

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Baade’s selection for this year’s Best of Show is “The Nesting,” a mixed media menagerie similar to her own vision of ethereal delights. The artist, Nonney Oddlokken, presents a garden of pink birds, nests, skulls, and eyes contained in a loose matrix of thread. She describes it as “a mixture of my childhood memories, Catholic references, Cajun folklore, and a sprinkle of New Orleans Voodoo.”

“I created my own genre, which is comprised of stitched thread on paper,” Oddlokken explained. “The backgrounds are handmade, stitched paper substrates with stitched imagery and collage elements, then embellished with yards of hand-stitched gold thread — the symbol of the lifeline that ties us all together.”

The Pensacola Museum of Art currently features works of art created by its members in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit runs through May 29.

The Pensacola Museum of Art currently features works of art created by its members in the upstairs gallery. The exhibit runs through May 29.

Oddlokken mines the fantasia of her youth that was “greatly colored and created by an agoraphobic aunt and godmother.”

“So colorful was my childhood, it took me until the age of seven before I even realized that my aunt was terrified to leave the house,” Oddlokken recalled. “What could have been a catastrophic environment, instead, was turned into a world of magical realism.”

From there, the 2022 “Members Show” continues with a similar spirit. Local sculptor Jimmy Rhea skewers 27 cicadas with thin metal rods to create an upside down, chandelier-like assemblage. James Flynn’s “Ode to Venus” repurposes the goddesses’ head in a louvred triplicate. Crystal Ryan’s “Hayday” is a congealed mass of plastic, a multi-cubed redoubt of detritus. Gila Rayberg, made her mark with “Forward Thinking,” a mosaic portrait of an artist.

“I loved viewing him in the space of the museum from across the room. Approaching the portrait, a wide variety of interesting materials come into focus, drawing you in to look more closely at the intricate details,” said Rayberg.

Her mosaic comes from an ongoing series via an international online portrait-making group she joined in 2010.

“I am completely self-taught when it comes to visual arts,” said Rayberg. “I find portraiture to be ever challenging in every medium especially mosaic, which is why I continue to create them. I love a good challenge.”

Local painter Loren Miller is no stranger to the “Members Show.” His entry this year, “The Son,” is an intense sepia-toned portrayal of a young boy who stares at his viewer with fixed consternation.

“My works are dark, in earthen tones, and light is used carefully to create a gravity,” Miller detailed.

The painting is a portrait of his son, inspired by the Biblical story of one of David’s sons, Absalom.

“I work to show that my figures, or characters, are on the verge of a profound decision or a defining moment in their story,” he said. “My pieces endeavor to reimagine the magnitude of these classic moments in a modern setting.”

For Miller and the other 80-plus artists in the “Members Show,” there’s a story to be told behind each work. And there’s a bigger one surrounding them, that their host venue continues to expand its reach and wants to be noticed.

“It’s important to support regional institutions like the PMA since their programming is part of what makes a city great,” said Baade. “Pensacola is a great hub and a tourist destination, so it has a lot going for it and artists are interested. I told all my students and colleagues about this show for next year.”

The Members Show

Through May 29

Pensacola Museum of Art

407 S. Jefferson St.

Pensacolamuseum.org

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Pensacola Museum of Art’s Members Show highlights 80 works



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