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July 26, 2009 Arts and Entertainment

Naturally Inspired: Organic Abstraction Exhibition at Highfield Hall

Seven of Cape Cod’s most renowned abstract artists, Mike Carroll, Bert Yarborough, Bailey Bob Bailey, Francie Randolph, Jan Lhormer, Carol Odell and Betty Caroll Fuller, join together to display their work in the elegant rooms of Highfield Hall for an exhibition of abstract work inspired by organic forms. Visitors may view the exhibit August 3 through September 16. Highfield Hall is open Monday – Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and also on Sundays from 10 am to 1 pm. Admission is free of charge, although donations are welcome. A free reception with the artists will take place on August 26 from 5 to 7 pm at the mansion. Tyler Singer-Clark will be at the piano with Chef Gail Blakely providing the food. A slide show will feature additional work from the artists, as well as share the story of the Highfield Gallery which brought abstract artists to Highfield Hall in the 1950s. Most of the art will be available for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Historic Highfield.



Artist Jan Lhormer, curator of the show, wanted to bring together abstract artists from across Cape Cod. “I am really enthused about what this show will bring to the community,” says Lhormer. “The eclectic mix of contemporary works that will be showcased, combined with Highfield Hall’s nineteenth century Victorian charm and home-like environment, should create a jolt of excitement that will surpass the white cube mentality of traditional gallery walls and affirm that the abstract can complement the traditional. Also, it unifies artists and venues from opposite ends of the Cape who interpret landscape with inventive visual language. The participating artists are highly professional, having exhibited regionally or nationally for at least twenty years.”



Indeed, hanging this exhibit at Highfield Hall, where the rooms are replete with 19th century furniture, intricate wood molding and warm design touches is a rare opportunity. The show itself possesses a unique theme, each artist asking viewers to explore society and culture and the human relationship to the organic world. Bert Yarborough, for example, lived and studied in Nigeria and his work is infused with the color, texture, and folklore of the culture. Meanwhile, Francie Randolph’s work reflects her travels through New Guinea and Australia.



For an exhibit that explores the natural world from a wholly different perspective, plan on viewing Highfield Hall’s next major exhibition, Darwin to Digital, by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, New England Chapter. A diverse view of science illustration in recognition of Darwin ’s bicentennial, this exhibit will highlight the range of styles, techniques and subjects that exist in the field today. It will also showcase prints from the MBL/WHOI library’s renowned collection of historical illustrations, including Haeckel, Leuckart, Audubon and others. The show promises to be a unique juxtaposition of contemporary artists with that of several significant predecessors in the field. Programs will also be offered during the span of the exhibit, including a slideshow and lecture on the field of scientific illustration; perspectives from a working illustrator; and a discussion on the MBL/WHOI library's collection. An exhibit reception will take place on Thursday, September 25, from 5 to 7 pm.



Historic Highfield Inc. is celebrating 15 years as a nonprofit organization.  It was founded in 1994 to save, restore, and operate Highfield Hall, Falmouth’s historic home for artistic and community life. The mansion is located at 56 Highfield Drive.  Driving directions and information about Highfield Hall’s programs and events may be found at www.highfieldhall.org.



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