HOW WE SEE OURSELVES, HOW WE SEE EACH OTHER
The human face has been a source of fascination from the earliest days of civilization. Art historians have documented portraiture as an art form dating back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. And the discovery in 2006 of a 27,000-year old drawing of a human face in a cave in Western France confirms the interest and desire to depict the human face and its identifiable features stretches back tens of thousands of years. It seems as soon as the earliest people picked up drawing sticks, we’ve been drawn to the human face.
What is it about the human face that makes it so interesting and compelling to artists? The answer could actually be quite simple: what does it mean to be human? All faces share the same basic features: two eyes, a nose, a mouth--yet each one—and each of us-- is unique.
In this time of the COVID pandemic, when the thing that we have in common—our emotive faces—have been covered by protective masks, the BGA decided we should present FACING YOU, an art exhibit that celebrates this visceral connection to each other.
The response to the FACING YOU Call for Art was immediate and positive—and eclectic--we are pleased to showcase work from over 60 artists who have created portraits in a variety of media—both traditional and non-traditional, including photography, assemblage, drawing, painting, sculpture, digital art and collage/mixed media.
The FACING YOU exhibit is grouped into several different categories (FAMILY, WORK, EMOTIONS, VISIONS, ICONS and IN THE END) that give visitors an appreciation of the different ways that artists can take a single theme—portraits—and interpret it in a variety of ways. Our hope is that you leave the exhibit feeling more connected to each other.
And while we all miss viewing art in person, we’re excited about the BGA’s virtual space and the new opportunities it presents for the gallery and the artists we work with.
Enjoy the exhibit. And thank you for your support of the Belmont Gallery of Art.
What is family? Traditionally defined as people we’re related to by birth or adoption, family can also be represented by those we surround ourselves with: those who accept us for who we are, provide comfort to us and love us unconditionally. This includes our friends and relatives, our animal companions and our community.
These portraits invite viewers to look into the eyes of the subjects and observe how you might connect with them. How do the subjects show themselves? How does the artist reveal them? Look at the clothing, setting, and expression on each of the portraits.
Conveying emotion is a core purposes of art--from somber to silly these pieces capture the feelings expressed on our faces. No words necessary. The artists use lighting, perspective, composition and color to convey emotion.
It is easy to imbue human personality into inanimate objects. Nature inspires us to see how we fit in to the bigger picture, physically or spiritually. The mirror of our imagination reflects a broader portrait of our beings.
Faces that are more that just the person who wears them. They symbolize hope and history… or they stand in for thousands of unseen faces whose rights and needs have been neglected. In recognizing these individuals, we can take note of, or “recognize” the call for understanding and change.
We cannot look away from these depictions of faces because their power is not confined to the individuals. When we look at others, it is an opportunity to see ourselves. This connection is crucial to human life.
Artist Anne Wickham Smith says, “In these times It’s important…that we accept and appreciate our differences, and stand together."
Here is the next best thing: We have "hung" the show on virtual walls so you can see their relative size and how they look together. This is ONLY an approximation but it is kinda fun to "walk" through!