August 16, 2011
Toledo Free Press, 08/16/2011


Toledo Free Press, 08/16/2011

Beverly Fishman is continuing her artistic study of the human body and the pharmaceutical industry through a new medium with her exhibit “Pill Spill” at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion.

The installation features 120 glass capsules representing pills, which are placed between the walls of the entrance. According to Fishman, this creates the analogy of the Glass Pavilion as a human body digesting the pills.

“I’ve had a long-standing relationship with my interest with the body, science, technology and the pharmaceutical industry,” Fishman said. “It’s been about an 11-year investigation and has taken on many iterations. I love the idea of something so incredibly old like glass blowing dealing with the contemporary condition. This gorgeous pill is like a placebo. If you see this large grouping of them, they might do something to the viewer. The viewer wouldn’t have to take a pill. They could just
experience something.”

Fishman’s installation is part of the Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP). She was named the 2010 GAPP artist-in-residence and worked on the project with staff from the Glass Pavilion.

“I had ideas I thought would work really well with glass,” Fishman said. “We started several projects, but ‘Pill Spill’ really snowballed and became the big project. Once this project started to really roll, we were in sync with each other. It just took on a life of its own.”

She worked mostly alongside Jeff Mack and Doug Patterson, with Mack handling all of the glass blowing duties.

“We had a lot of discussions about color, because it is a huge part of my work,” Fishman said. “When Doug and Jeff came to my studio, we started to get the ball rolling. My sense of color is very electric. There are qualities of color that normally are in glass, and I was asking for color that I would say was more futuristic.”

The project is Fishman’s first time working with glass, so she generated ideas and directed Mack and Patterson on the execution.

“I’d worked with resin and chrome, but I’d never worked with glass,” Fishman said. “Glass is like entering a new world. The beauty of it is so seductive. There’s issues of transparency and detail of pattern. Things I thought I was going to do, I let go of and moved through this process.”

Fishman plans to continue working with glass after this installation, but she has no intentions of learning how to blow glass.

“I’ve been seduced by the material and what it can do,” she said. “I’m going to attempt to keep working in glass, but it would take years to catch up to where the glass blowers are. I like working with the ideas in collaboration.”

The majority of Fishman’s artistic experience is with painting. She serves as head of the painting department at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art and has a painting in the permanent collection at the Toledo Museum of Art. The painting, “Night Kandyland” is part of her “Kandyland Series,” comparing pharmaceutical pills to candy. The top of the painting contains logos of legal and illegal drugs. The bottom half looks abstract, but contains EEG patterns to represent the body.

“I’m interested in how technology has imaged the body and keeps re-imaging our body,” Fishman said. “Technology continues to grow and change. I started out using the microscope and cells. Those images look incredibly romantic compared to MRIs today. MRIs look like Las Vegas signs. The images, the way technology represents us, has changed over the course of years. My intent is to keep up with that change in my work and comment on our existence today.”

“Pill Spill” is on display through September in the Glass Pavilion, located across the street from TMA at 2445 Monroe St. Fishman will discuss her work Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the GlasSalon. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Glass Pavilion gave me such a huge opportunity to think about the body,” Fishman said. “It is like seeing through the exterior into an interior. It read like a body, like the building itself was digesting the pills. The building is so powerful. The architecture is brilliant. The quality of light that comes through allows the glass piece to change over the time of the day. It is remarkable. Natural light is so beautiful. The building itself became such a big inspiration.”

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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