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Area Artists 2005: Salma Arastu, Holly Trostle Brigham, Maureen Drdak, Gary Graves

February 24, 2005 - May 6, 2005

Panel discussion with the artists: Thursday, March 3, 2005.  4:30 pm.
Moderated by Professor Ann Priester, Art & Architecture.
Lower Gallery, Zoellner Arts Center.
Opening reception to follow.

Paintings, installation and photography. Area Artists is a biennial exhibition presenting the work of some of the finest established artists and art educators in the eastern Pennsylvania region: Salma Arastu, multicultural artist; Holly T. Brigham, painter; Maureen Drdak, painter; and Gary Graves, photography installation.

Maureen Drdak of Ardmore reinterprets ancient Near Eastern imagery in acrylic on wood panels, with iconic explorations of relevance in contemporary times.  Energy is expressed on polished black fields, with stone threads and primal and sacrificial human forms.  Drdak is

a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of the Arts.  Her work has been widely exhibited at galleries and museums including the State Museum of Harrisburg, PA Academy of Fine Arts and the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College.  The recipient of numerous awards, her work is in public and private collections, notably that of the King and Queen of Jordan, the Florida Holocaust Museum, and Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial in Israel.

Holly Trostle Brigham of Allentown is a figurative painter who creates mythical allegories of contemporary and historical subjects.  Her paintings have won awards at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Lancaster Art Association, and for watercolor at the Harrisburg Art Association.  Brigham’s work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.  She teaches painting and drawing at the Baum School of Art and has taught at the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester State College, Lebanon Valley College and Pasadena City College.

Gary Graves of Raubsville has created photography installations for over twenty years.  The current installation is titled Before and After February 28th- a study in polarity.  Graves’ work is non-linear and abstract, and combines text with photographs.  He has also worked as a performance artist.  Graves is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, and studied at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts, Canada.  His work has been widely exhibited in galleries in New York, Houston, Rochester, and Canada.  His most recent exhibition chronicled fifteen years of his work, at Archetype Gallery of Allentown, PA.  A project in collaboration with artist Glen Seator is due to be published in Gottingen, Germany as a catalogue raisonne.

Salma Arastu of Bethlehem was born in India.  She has painted for over twenty-seven years, and holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India.  her work in continuous and lyrical line, with layers of color and intricate textures, is influences by her native culture and that of Iran and Kuwait.  Arastu is an award-winning multicultural artist whose works have been exhibited internationally, and are included in private collections in the U.S., Germany, India and the Middle East.  She is also the author of published works of poetry and short stories in her native Hindi language.



February 24, 2005
May 6, 2005
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