Polly Apfelbaum, Waiting for the UFOs (a space between a landscape and a bunch of flowers), 2019, installation view at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Courtesy of the artist; Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Frith Street Gallery, London, England; and Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria. Photo by E.G. Schempf.
During a residency with Arcadia Exhibitions at Arcadia University, award-winning visual artist Polly Apfelbaum will create ceramic works influenced by Pennsylvania German art and culture. A Guggenheim Fellow and Rome Prize recipient whose work is held in numerous museums’ permanent collections, Apfelbaum uses found references associated with craft traditions to create sculptural objects and sprawling floor-based installations that convey the artist’s fascination with color, craft, gendered labor, and the everyday. The new ceramic works will include a life-size figure based on a painting by American artist David Ellinger (1913–2003) depicting a faceless, bonneted woman that hung in Apfelbaum's childhood home in Abington, Pennsylvania, a short distance from Arcadia’s campus. This work will be contextualized by Apfelbaum's installation featuring a large, hand-woven carpet and custom wallpaper derived from a traditional Pennsylvania German quilting pattern, along with a gallery showing the artist’s processes, tests, sketches, and older artworks. A related exhibition will display pieces from Ellinger, whose work incorporated the motifs of Pennsylvania German art and design.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.