One Artist’s Journey – Sihnja Whiteley
June 2, 2017 - July 1, 2017
My Journey as an Artist—A Retrospective of the Work by Sihnja An Whiteley
Korean native and Chestertown artist Sihnja An Whiteley’s solo show is a retrospective of her work over a 30-year period. Through her art she explores a synthesis of East and West using the mediums of Oriental brush painting and oil and watercolor painting. Her work is informed by her academic training as a historian and inspired by her extensive travel in Asia and North and South America, as well as her experience in bonsai and the culinary arts.
Journeys are like lives. We can take a journey of our choosing and design, or it is a journey that takes us on unexpected paths and reveals who we are, who we can become. Art is what brings all of my lives and identities together, whether bridging Korea with the US, or the past and the present. I studied art as a historian before I created as an artist, and painting continues to nourish me artistically, intellectually, and spiritually. I have painted all around the world, from New Mexico and Arizona to Provence and Tuscany, which have all given expression to my experiences and my imagination. Teaching has allowed me to help others enjoy all those journeys made possible by the many kinds of learning and beauty I enjoy every day, especially with my traveling companions: other artists, friends, and family.
About the Artist
A native of Korea, Sihnja An Whiteley received both her BA and MA degrees in European History. Her teaching career at the Ewha Women’s University in Korea included co-authorship of The History of Civilization along with the publication of many articles. During her years in Korea, Sihnja studied Oriental brush painting, Chinese calligraphy, and oil painting in private studios.
Sihnja continued her studies in art history and studio art at Washington College and took many workshops in watercolor. Sihnja holds special enthusiasm in watercolors for its fluency, spontaneity, and unpredictability. Her paintings are a synthesis of East and West: discipline of the East; freedom and individuality of the West.
Sihnja has taught watercolor painting and Oriental brush painting since 1985.
She has exhibited her work at the Carla Massoni Gallery, Easton Academy Art Museum, Ocean City Arts League, and other public private galleries. She has participated in group exhibits in Baltimore Watercolor Society, Sumner Museum in Washington, DC, Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia, and CIA. She also exhibited in the American Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil and the American Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine as part of the Art in Embassies program.
Sihnja’s enthusiasm for cooking, bonsai art, opera, and travel are all elements of her creative process.