Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Member Spotlight: Maura McGurk, painter, first solo exhibition: Pride and Prejudice: An Exhibition on Gay Bullying, Feb 22nd

International Women Artists’ Salon is pleased to announce that Salon member Maura McGurk has her first solo exhibition in NYC at Sapphire Lounge, with an artist reception on February 22nd. Congratulations Maura!

Pride and Prejudice:  An Exhibition on Gay Bullying
by Maura McGurk

Opening Reception:
February 22, 6:30 - 8 pm

Sapphire Lounge (http://www.sapphirenyc.com/)
249 Eldridge (at Houston)

Directions:  F to 2nd Avenue

$5 includes appetizers, drink specials and entrance to fashion show at 8:00

24" x 24", Acrylic and pencil on panel

Maura McGurk

Maura has exhibited her paintings at various venues in New York, Boston, Providence, and Italy.  One of her sketchbooks toured the United States and can be seen as part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library.
She received a grant from the Vermont Studio Center for a residency in 2010, was chosen as one of the Boston Young Contemporaries, and was a recipient of an AHA! Grant from the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts.  Her work is held in over forty private collections in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, and is displayed at various Boston-area corporations. She received her MFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Maura has taught art at various universities and colleges in the Northeast, as well as in summer programs in Italy and Sicily.

Believing in art’s power to change the world, Maura is hard at work on the “Lavender Menace” series of works in support of gay rights.  In the past, she has organized an art sale to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina, and donated artwork to causes such as the Gloria Steinem Art Auction, led by Ms. Steinem, in support of the Women’s Studies Program at UMass Dartmouth.

Lavender Menace
12" x 12", Acrylic and colored pencil on panel

Artist’s Statement

I have come to believe that declarations of love, particularly those involving same-sex relationships, are simultaneously personal, public, and political statements. At a time of incremental victories for gay rights but significant losses—fighting and tensions over gay marriage, gays in the military, even the notion of gays going to the prom—I wish to bring myself and my work into the discussion. By doing so, I ask to be named and counted, engaging in the debate because the personal is political.

The abstract paintings in this body of work have been inspired in part by recent news regarding the struggle for civil rights. The color lavender, and its associations with gay rights and protest groups in the wake of the Stonewall Rebellion, features prominently. Through this color palette and the organic shapes and lines that interact with each other, the paintings maintain a contemplative but lyrical quality.

I work in a process of layers which in some places creates a textured, clotted surface that alludes to activities beneath it; in other places, the surface gives way to transparencies which provide glimpses to the layers below. In addition to working with paint, I draw intuitively and reactively in bursts of expression; these line drawings lay a groundwork for additional layers and painted shapes.

6" x 12", Acrylic on panel

Untitled (Vermont 1)
36" x 48", Acrylic and mixed media on panel