Press Releases

Exhibition Announcement - “Hoping to Help - Danica Phelps: Falk Visiting Artist"

Release date: January 19, 2017

Exhibition Announcement - “Hoping to Help - Danica Phelps: Falk Visiting Artist

January 14 - April 9, 2017

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Attention, passion, and generosity—all three qualities fuel artist Danica Phelps’ latest project, which links ordinary moments in her own life to the extraordinary efforts of nonprofit organizations working to better the lives of others.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is is proud and excited to present the exhibition Hoping to Help: Danica Phelps | Falk Visiting Artist. Combining figuration, abstraction, and conceptualism, artist Danica Phelps offers a public documentation of her private life. With eloquent, lyrical line drawings she records ordinary moments—pouring coffee, opening a window, watching her son.  

As each drawing is sold, Phelps traces it and then tracks its income by marking every dollar earned with a green line. As she uses that income, she paints a series of red lines—one for each dollar spent. These green and red notations are made on strips of recycled US currency. 

Collectively, Phelps’s drawings and notations form an ongoing series—Income’s Outcome—that offers a complex visual diary and financial ledger of the artist’s life and literal costs of living. In sharing it publicly, she hopes to both “allow others to perceive their own lives in fuller detail” and “celebrate the mundane aspects of life that we all share.”

This installation of Phelps’s work includes selections from Income’s Outcome as well as a new body of work in which her thinking and aims have shifted slightly. She explains: “Increasingly my thoughts turn to those people who do not experience anything mundane. Listening to the news reminds me that for many people each day is a nightmare of hardships and uncertainty. I am haunted by their stories and confused by the fact that I get to live my comfortable life in this particular spot on the planet by relative chance while others, by the same random assignment of location or circumstance, suffer so terribly.”

In October, Phelps turned her Facebook page into an auction site for her drawings, with the money from each sale going directly to a not-for-profit organization. Once each drawing is sold, she pairs a tracing of it with another drawing that depicts the work of the organization benefiting from its sale. Thus, images taken from her own life are presented alongside images of social efforts she supports. Phelps has titled this series The Gratitude Project. In its first two months, the project raised more than $10,000. You can watch it continue to unfold at https://www.facebook.com/danica.phelps.

Danica Phelps holds an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from Hampshire College. She is represented by Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna; NF Galeria, Madrid; Galerie Judin, Berlin; Galerie Werner Klein, Cologne; Galerie Michael Sturm, Stuttgart; Patrick Heide Gallery, London; and Galerie Laurent Mueller, Paris.

As the Spring 2017 Falk Visiting Artist, Phelps will be in residence at UNCG for several days, visiting MFA graduate student studios, offering a gallery talk for students, and a public lecture.

This exhibition is organized by Dr. Emily Stamey, Curator of Exhibitions, in partnership with the UNCG School of Art’s Falk Visiting Artist Program.

Image: Danica Phelps, Coffee #2 (detail) from The Gratitude Project, 2016, pencil on paper, 8 7/8 x 11 1/4 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Related Programs 

Artist Gallery Talk: Danica Phelps
Wednesday, February 22, 4-5 pm
 
Danica Phelps, will participate in MFA graduate student critiques and offer a gallery talk for UNCG students. The gallery talk on Wednesday, February 22 will take place in Falk Gallery, on the museum's first floor, and is open to UNCG students, faculty and staff only.  Seating is limited.  

Artist Talk: Danica Phelps
Thursday, February 23, 6 pm
 
With eloquent line drawings and an exacting system of colored marks, artist Danica Phelps records the ordinary moments of her daily life and the monetary transactions that sustain it. In her newest work, she connects her visual journal to the lives of others. The artist talk will take place in the museum’s auditorium. It is FREE and open to the public.  

Noon @ the 'Spoon Public Exhibition Tour
Tuesday, March 14, 12 pm
Noon @ the 'Spoon features a 20-minute tour of a new exhibition. Offered every second Tuesday of the month. Free.  

For a complete, updated list of programs, visit: http://weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

Guided + Self-Guided Visits
School and community groups are invited to visit the museum on their own or via a docent-led tour. Admission and tours are free. Please contact us at least three weeks in advance to schedule your visit, 336.334.5770 or weatherspoon@uncg.edu.

About the Weatherspoon Art Museum

Mission
The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets modern and contemporary art for the benefit of its multiple audiences, including university, community, regional, and beyond. Through these activities, the museum recognizes its paramount role of public service, and enriches the lives of diverse individuals by fostering an informed appreciation and understanding of the visual arts and their relationship to the world in which we live.

History
The Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was founded by Gregory Ivy in 1941 and is the earliest of any art facilities within the UNC system.  The museum was founded as a resource for the campus, community, and region and its early leadership developed an emphasis—maintained to this day—on presenting and acquiring modern and contemporary works of art. A 1949 bequest from the renowned collection of Claribel and Etta Cone, which included prints and bronzes by Henri Matisse and other works on paper by American and European modernists, helped to establish the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection. Other prescient acquisitions during Ivy’s tenure included a 1951 suspended mobile by Alexander Calder, Woman by Willem de Kooning—a pivotal work in the artist’s career that was purchased in 1954, and the first drawings by Eva Hesse and Robert Smithson to enter a museum collection.
In 1989, the museum moved into its present location in The Anne and Benjamin Cone Building designed by the architectural firm Mitchell/Giurgola. The museum has six galleries and a sculpture courtyard with over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space. The American Alliance of Museums accredited the Weatherspoon in 1995 and renewed its accreditation in 2005 and 2015.

Collections + Exhibitions
The permanent collection of the Weatherspoon Art Museum is one of the foremost of its kind in the Southeast.  It represents all major art movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Of the nearly 6,000 works in the collection are pieces by such prominent figures as Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Cindy Sherman, Al Held, Alex Katz, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Louise Nevelson, Mark di Suvero, Deborah Butterfield, and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum regularly lends to major exhibitions nationally and internationally.

The Weatherspoon also is known for its adventurous and innovative exhibition program. Through a dynamic annual calendar of fifteen or more exhibitions and a multi-disciplinary educational program for audiences of all ages, the museum provides an opportunity for audiences to consider artistic, cultural, and social issues of our time and enriches the life of our university, community, and region.

 

Weatherspoon Art Museum
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Spring Garden and Tate Streets, PO Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, 336.334.5770, weatherspoon@uncg.edu

For more information or press images, contact: 
Loring Mortensen, 336-256-1451, lamorten@uncg.edu

 

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Contact our Public & Community Relations Officer, Loring Mortensen, for press-related requests, images and information.

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