Erika Stearly brings her unique – and interactive – “Take a Painting” art exhibit to Warren County Community College this month.
Take a Painting is an interactive painting installation designed to making painting more accessible to a general audience. Viewers are invited to select a painting off the wall to keep, and the tools, materials, and opportunity are available for participants to create their own paintings, which are embedded back into the installation for other people to take.
According to Stearly, “There has been a general disconnect between the work of artists and the general public when it comes to the creation and interpretation of a work of art; however, a greater understanding could be achieved if the divide between artist and viewer were bridged. Therefore, by providing the audience with the materials, tools, and opportunity to make their own paintings on paper, Take a Painting seeks to blur the lines between artist and audience. By displaying hundreds of small paintings on paper on the wall along with instructions for the viewer to help themselves to a painting, I intend to make the ownership of a precious art object accessible to anyone who engages with the installation. Through Take a Painting, I seek to fuse my studio practice with the traditions of art history while breaking down barriers that discourage casual viewers from engaging with the discipline of painting.”
The opening for the exhibit is scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 17 at the Second Floor Art Gallery at WCCC. The opening and demonstration is free and open to the public. Stearly will be on hand for the opening. The exhibition will remain open through the end of October.
“I’ve found that people are more likely to sit down and paint if someone is already there, so I will spend the time painting alongside participants who engage with the installation,” she noted, adding that it will be presented as an informal demonstration.
Stearly, whose works have been seen around the country, is an artist living and working in Pennsylvania, and is the Creator and Director of the installation, which has traveled to communities throughout Pennsylvania and beyond since she completed her MFA at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Stearly has been an adjunct at various colleges including WCCC.
She received a grant award from the Puffin Foundation and another grant from InLiquid in Philadelphia to make this particular exhibition happen.
WCCC is located on Route 57 in Washington Township. For more information about WCCC, or directions, visit www.warren.edu.