February 3, 2017 @ 12:00 am - February 25, 2017 @ 12:00 am
Jeff Huntington: Catalyst
Featuring a collaboration between Future History Now and the Carter Center at RiverArts
RiverArts is pleased to present the work of artist Jeff Huntington on exhibit the month of February in the Studio Gallery. Huntington’s work has been included in more than eighty exhibitions nationally and internationally over the past 25 years. His paintings are in private and public collections throughout the world, including The Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois and in U.S. embassies in the Philippines and Panama. Reviews of his work have been featured in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Times, Juxtapos, Hi Fructose Magazine, The New Art Examiner, as well as features on CNBC and NPR.
Huntington’s local work recently spurred controversy in Annapolis, MD when a mural he was commissioned to paint was challenged by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. The fate of the mural is still undetermined, but the process of advocating for the work and for the place of the visual arts in the community has led Huntington to co-found the non-profit Future History Now with his partner Julia Gibb. Future History Now creates public artworks and art programming through the collaboration of at-risk youth and local, professional artists—creating opportunities for all involved to become stakeholders in creating the future landscape of their own communities.
Upon accepting the invitation to exhibit his work at RiverArts, Huntington proposed a collaboration between Future History Now and at-risk youth in the Chestertown community to create a meaningful artwork to be gifted to the Kent County community. RiverArts matched Huntington with youth from the Carter Center which is part of the Department of Juvenile Services. Huntington, Gibb, and members of RiverArts staff and board will work collaboratively on January 28, 2017 to create a large-scale mural depicting Harriet Tubman surrounded by geometric code-quilt inspired designs. After hanging in the exhibit, the mural will find a home in the Kent County community.
The Harriet Tubman painting will join solo work from Huntington’s recent series, Catalyst. Saviors, villains, and innovators comprise the subjects of Catalyst, Jeff Huntington’s latest body of work. These choices reflect the artist’s life-long fascination with the interplay between tragedy and triumph, and with the lenses through which we view the world’s stage and its actors. Huntington researches his subjects through many media: literature, cinema, visual art, and music. In Catalyst, elements of each subject’s biography and legacy are literally and figuratively layered together based on this multi-media research. Using masking techniques, Huntington employs patterns to play contrasting images off each other, creating friction and a sense of mystery within each piece. Through these patterns, visual and conceptual rhythms emerge; geometric shapes represent cultural, musical, and mystical motifs.