Art Exhibit: Holly S. Murray "Ice to Water"
September 16—October 7, 2018, Sundays 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
September 18—October 11, 2018, Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri 1:00 pm-8:00 pm
UMass Amherst Campus
Artist’s Statement: Ice to Water:
"Thinking about our world today in comparison to only 50 years ago, vast changes have occurred. Issues that have concerned me as an artist have always been about the world we inhabit. How we interact in it and how we treat our environment. I have examined over the years the state of women, medical and agricultural practices, and what those practices do not only to us but to the environment as well.
I have a series of work exploring the plight of the bees as an offshoot effort to expose our agriculture production and ponder through my art the impact on the future for us. Blue birds and conquistadors have found their way into my work, provoking questions of our treatment of each other and our endless search for more. I have used different media to express these concerns but currently with the Ice to Water series I am restricting myself to oil paint. I like the process, texture, smell, it feels real in what has become more and more an artificial world. Am I a dinosaur, I wonder. I feel a longing and sadness about the planet that seems like what we have done cannot be undone. And so is this a lament? A longing for time past, things we can no longer enjoy in a world I hardly recognize. The ice and icebergs are slipping into another form, water which will take over the land as we now know it. The earth changes slowly, naturally but consumption pushes the world faster than what would have occurred had we not started plundering the earth. Do we know this for fact or are all these changes inevitable? These are the kind of questions that inspire me to paint these images, there is a compulsion for me as an artist to make an effort to bring some kind of sense of our plight for myself and perhaps the viewer."
Holly S. Murray grew up amidst the wild beauty of rural New England. She is a graduate of Syracuse University, with a B.F.A. in painting and printmaking. She holds a M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, where she studied ceramics and photography.
Throughout Murray’s career, her art process has traversed the terrain between the studio and interactive public collaboration. The content of her art is concerned with cultural and social issues. During the mid nineties, Murray’s nationally traveling show “On the Home Front”, an installation documenting family violence, garnered wide acclaim. An outgrowth of that work explored issues of aging within American popular culture. The result was a series of paintings called “Death, Desire and Ecstasy”. These themes evolved into a body of work, called “Good Breeding”; examining the intersection between biotechnology and mega-agricultural practices. Presently, she is continuing her investigation of biogenetics and its effects on our world with her painting and works on paper.
Murray has had the opportunity to travel both nationally and internationally across New England, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Among others, she received an Artist in Residence in Jingdezhen, China. She was awarded a residency on the Big Island of Hawaii. Her work has been acquired by private collections, educational institutions and corporations. For the past fifteen years, Murray has overseen the Ceramics Department at Springfield College and is the Director of the William Blizard Gallery. She maintains a studio in Wilbraham, MA.
Opening reception September 16, 2–4 p.m.