Feature Articles

April 2013

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, Offers Works from the Museum’s Collection

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, is presenting Here & Now: A Decade of Contemporary Acquisitions, on view through July 21, 2013.

“It all began with a commitment in 1962 by the St. John’s Art Gallery (later the Cameron Art Museum) to build a permanent collection,” said Anne Brennan, executive director of Cameron Art Museum. “That’s where it started.” From that commitment the museum began growing its collection through acquisitions and gifts of art collections. The new exhibition focuses on an exploration of contemporary acquisitions to the permanent collection since the establishment of the Cameron Art Museum in 2002. Some of the most famous artists in the exhibition are Romare Bearden, Sam Francis, Donald Sultan, Mark Flood, Viola Frey, Leonard Baskin, Hiroshi Sueyoshi, Jim Dine and the newest acquisition by Shahzia Sikander.  

The work itself is contemporary artwork, produced since 1945. The exhibition brings to light new acquisitions, some which have never been exhibited before. Putting the exhibition together demands a critical eye for how each piece of artwork works with one another (an installation element) and how they fit with the overall design of the exhibition. Holly Tripman, registrar at the Cameron Art Museum said, “Generally, the works need to speak with or complement each other in some way.  Again there are so many ways that can happen – subject matter, medium, or their place in art history. Artwork placed beside each other that you might not expect can generate so many questions.”

The exhibition experience opens with the work of current contemporary artists who are working today. “Some of these artists work full-time as artists while others such as Darryl Lauster and Mary Ann Papek-Miller are also teachers and Brad Thomas is the curator of contemporary art at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC.” Tripman says.

So as this exhibition continues so does the question of “What is contemporary art?” Traditionally museums consider work done after 1945 or post World War II as the beginning of contemporary art as there was a decisive shift from art and architecture referred to as Modernism. Tripman goes on to say, “But some scholars argue that it was not until the late 50s to early 60s that contemporary art came into its own.”

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 910/395-5999 or visit (www.cameronartmuseum.com).

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