The Maria Neil Art Project introduces an artist whose work is at once beautiful and provocative. Barbara Stanford will be featured at the Waterloo gallery in her first solo exhibition.
“Whatever you do, don’t call Barbara’s work medical,” says Maria Neil gallerist Adam Tully, “though the term might come in handy, her work goes far beyond such a simplistic description.” Given her body of work that will be exhibited at Maria Neil Art Project, Stanford often struggles to engage the viewer to see more than just the elements of a particular piece. In creating these intricate and colorful works, her hope is that we realize that we retain ownership of our bodies and better understand them within and without.
“The majority of people willfully and blissfully remain in denial and ignorance of the contents of the ‘house’ they are living in,” explains Stanford, “walking around in, sleeping in, etc., every second of their earthly existence. We have been so accustomed and even trained to leave all this to the doctors that I consider artistically confronting people with their own physical makeup to be the equivalent to breaking a long held taboo, much like the advent of psychotherapy revealing the unconscious with all its dark and frequently unsavory aspects.”
An artistic newcomer to the Cleveland community, Ms. Stanford has been creating art mostly for herself and for a handful of juried shows and group exhibitions. Having never shown commercially, nearly twenty years of work will be on display to the public for the very first time. Emotion runs heavy in every brush stroke. Her work reflects her strong interest in forming a unified picture of human beings and their hidden psychic and physical selves. Every bone, nerve ending, and muscle is recreated with the understanding that there is greater meaning to them besides the obvious. All mediums are open for exploration, and in every new experience is another piece to the bigger puzzle.
The exhibition will be on view from May 1 through June 14 at the Maria Neil Art Project at 15813 Waterloo Road in the Waterloo Arts District in Cleveland. An Opening Reception with the artist will be held on Friday, May 1 from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Gallery hours are Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5:00 pm, with other hours by appointment. For more information, visit www.marianeilartproject.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.