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Michener reopens with contemporary art commemorating Earth Day’s 50th

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The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is delighted to welcome back visitors with the presentation of “Rising Tides: Contemporary Art and the Ecology of Water,” which commemorates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

The exhibition presents the work of contemporary artists from Bucks County and the greater Philadelphia area, whose art serves as a platform to investigate the effects of global warming, climate change, pollution and related environmental concerns on bodies of water and aquatic species.

The works include painting, works on paper, sculpture and installation. There are seven local artists featured in this celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, established April 22, 1970 with the intention of educating the public about environmental issues impacting the planet as seen through their eyes.

Curated by Laura Turner Igoe, curator of American art, the exhibit is a stunning collection of contemporary artistry.

The abstract arrangements of Emily Brown in the exhibit are replicated on painted glass cylinders while Diane Burko’s mixed media paintings give way to aerial views of glacial melt. Janet Filomeno’s abstract compositions visualize troubled water highlighted by red boxes, a unique way to visualize global warming.

Marguerita Hagan’s ceramic sculpture, a major showstopper, focuses attention on the diversity of creatures that comprise aquatic ecosystems from microorganisms to larger ones, like coral and the blue whale. Pat Martin exhibits two works of art that display deterioration of oceanic ecosystems due to pollution.

Stacy Levy’s distinctive installation is comprised of small vials of water collected from the Delaware River, and Paula Winokur’s delicate porcelain sculptures evoke glacial ice with white jagged surfaces.

The exhibit is located in the spacious Paton-Smith-Della-Penna-Fernberger Gallery, which allows for freedom of circulation and a feeling of floating through social distancing.

“I am delighted to see the Michener Art Museum re-opening the building to the community after a long pause, said the new Michener Art Museum Executive Director, Kate Quinn, whose start date coincides with the re-opening.

Many weeks were spent planning for a safe re-opening following all local mandates and CDC recommendations. The facility has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and will be maintained on a heightened basis with high-touch surfaces being cleaned continuously.

Plexiglass shields have been installed in the Visitor Services area, and stanchions and signage are in place to enforce social distancing. Right down to the state of the art thermometer and disinfecting ultraviolet wand at the front desk, visitors can enter the world of contemporary art with ease of mind and relaxed confidence.

All visitors, including members, volunteers, and docents, must reserve timed tickets and wear a face covering to gain entry.

Member-only preview days were held earlier this week, and the public opening is 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23, with the purchased on timed tickets.

In-person public programs, classes and group tours continue to be suspended until further notice. The museum café and coat check will remain closed at this time. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum website (michenerartmuseum.org) to view available time slots and learn more about the museum’s safety guidelines.


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