Noyes Museum of Art

Oceanville, NJ



Art in Boxes: Hers and His Stories

September 9, 2000 - January 7, 2001


Many of today's artists work in box formats, simple cubes that open and close that contain collections of "things" or found objects. A combination of sculpture and painting, these assemblages emphasize the part played by depth and spatial enclosure and usually include subject matter that hangs between illusion and reality. With this in mind, the Noyes Museum of Art has organized a juried exhibition of these personal, narrative artworks. Entitled "Art in Boxes: Hers and His Stories" this exhibition features 66 "boxes" by 41 artists from across the nation. Running from September 9, 2000 through January 7, 2001 , this juried exhibition was curated by Jonathan P. Binstock, Assistant Curator at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia; Dede Young, Program Director/Curator at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, Delaware; and Hsiao-Ning Tu, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Noyes Museum of Art. To be considered for this exhibition, the artists were required to make their boxes narrative in nature, telling a personal story about their youth, their neighborhood, an immigration experience, if applicable, or a story that reflects their heritage. Each artist was required to explain their own story for the didactic labels. (left: Martina Johnson-Allen, The Priestess, 1998, 25 x 12 x 11 inches; right: Gilda Pervin, Coming of Age in Pittsburg, 2000, mixed media, 6 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches)

Throughout history, boxes have been an integral, indispensable part of civilization. Ancient Egyptians used highly decorated boxes to bury their dead. Early primitive man made ornate boxes for transporting and storing items. Every major religion has used decorative boxes to contain their most sacred objects. (left: Judy Starr Soskin, The Sweet Life, 1999, 24 x 15 x 6 inches)

Boxes are seen everywhere, in every sense, whether they be in the form of the homes in which we live, the automobiles we drive, the packaging for goods we buy or the suitcases we pack for travel. Boxes are also widely used to hold our most important treasures. From the hope chest to the infant's crib, the significance of these items in our daily lives contributes to the desire by many artists to use the box form in an individual way to encase their artwork.

The aesthetic and creative freedom which the box gives to an artist is one of the reasons why art in boxes can be so successful. Boxes can be decorated inside and out, in the form of a diptych with a hinged center, a frame for intriguing stop action scenes, or filled with historic, nostalgic, and personal material.(left: Deborah Fisher, New Skin with Accessories, 1999, mixed media, 2.5 x 10 x 12.75 inches)

There will be a Fall Opening Reception for "Art in Boxes: Hers and His Stories" and two other new exhibitions at the Noyes Museum of Art on Saturday, October 7th from 3 to 6 PM.

Rev. 8/21/00

Read more about the Noyes Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/23/11

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