Wilkes University brings feminism to the Sordoni Art Gallery with Angela Fraleigh’s exhibit “The Bones of Us Hunger for Nothing.”
Angela Fraleigh, a local artist from Allentown, started drawing when she was a little girl but found her passion in high school when a teacher encouraged her to continue her art career. Fraleigh was recruited by Stuart Baron, then-director of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University after viewing her high school portfolio.
Fraleigh attended Boston University on a dean’s scholarship where she completely fell in love with drawing and painting. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at BU and later went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University.
Fraleigh is currently the chair of Studio Art at Moravian College while currently living and working in New York, N.Y., and Allentown. Fraleigh has been awarded numerous grants, residencies and other recognitions, including Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship, CORE Artist in Residence Program at the Glassell School of Art, Eliza Randall Prize at the Glassell School of Art, along with a plethora of other accomplishments.
Angela Fraleigh is primarily a two-dimensional artist. Through her art, Fraleigh hopes to portray both positive and negative emotions.
“My work is about how meaning gets made; how we come to believe the stories that we tell again and again and again. Art carries the potential to address, challenge, and change the power dynamics we’ve come to experience in our culture, on the political playing field, and in society at large,” she stated in an interview with Moravian College in 2016.
Fraleigh has different creative processes depending on what art work she is working on. However, each piece of art goes through the same basic structure. Fraleigh begins by researching the piece she wants to create. This is normally the longest part of the process. In the research phase, Fraleigh reads a lot and pays attention to what she is drawing her inspiration from.
Fraleigh stated, “As part of this research phase, I’m still making paintings and drawings, but they are often awkward and unfocused. I’ll start sketching, playing around on Photoshop, collaging different images together. Once I have the conceptual motivation and imagery solidified, I go straight to the really large canvases. I like being in the painting, being surrounded by the expanse of the canvas. It’s my favorite part. I like getting lost in them.”
Fraleigh moves between universal and personal narratives. The artwork featured at Wilkes University demonstrates the role of women through her art as they have been depicted in the past in art, literature and the media. With the feminist movement becoming more prominent in society, Fraleigh has been creating these works of art over the past thirteen years.
Fraleigh stated, “My work is about how meaning gets made. I’m interested in how narratives become dominant, how power structures evolve, and what roles pop culture, literature, and art history play into this.”
With her the use of primarily oils, acrylics, and gouache, an opaque watercolor, she incorporates her knowledge of the role of women from centuries ago to further instill a sense of power into the women subjects of the paintings. She also utilizes 23 karat gold, silver and metal leaves, and glitter along with substances like mica and graphite in her paintings. Fraleigh uses techniques such as dripping, pouring, splattering and pressing to create the textured art that can be viewed at the Sordoni Art Gallery.
Curator and Director of the Sordoni Art Gallery, Heather Sincavage stated “Many of the women in Fraleigh’s paintings appeared on the fringes of historical paintings, ornaments for male figures. In her work, she looks to provide the women with agency through placing them center stage, in control of their surroundings.”
A series of lectures about Fraleigh’s artwork will be held open to the public free of charge. The first in this series, The Artist Talk and Reception with Angela Fraleigh, will be held on Wednesday, January 31 at 4:30 pm in room 135 of the Karambelas Media and Communication Center.
“The Bones of Us Hunger for Nothing” exhibit is open through March 2, at the Sordoni Art Gallery, located at 141 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, in the Karambelas Media and Communication Center.
For any additional information regarding “The Bones of Us Hunger for Nothing” exhibition, future exhibitions, or about the Sordoni Art Gallery itself, call 570-408-4325 or email the gallery at [email protected]