Do stationary objects create energy? That’s just one question addressed by “Active Stillness: Four Centuries of Still Life Art,” the spectacular exhibition underway at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science through February 2023.
On display through Feb. 19, 2023, are 46 still-life works from the museum’s permanent collection. After four decades building one of the nation’s best contemporary still-life art collections, the bounty of the museum’s effort is on full display at 411 S.E. Riverside Drive.
These works — from watercolor to mixed-media collage — are some of the museum’s finest. Several are by former artists-in-residence, while others are purchase awards from the museum’s Mid-States Art Exhibition, now in its sixth decade. Displayed prominently are southwestern Indiana artists Michael Bartholomew, John Stuart Ingle, and Merrill Snethen.
Guests will experience Robert C. Jackson’s hope and humor in “Daredevil,” and Evansville native Ingle’s watercolor realism in “Still Life with Candlestick and Lemon.”
“The storyline in many of these works lies with the activity that occurs outside the frame,” says Art Curator A.J. Gianopoulos. “Can you guess what is happening?”
The aptly titled “An Adventurous Soul” by Jasper, Indiana, watercolorist Myra Schuetter leaves plenty of clues. Commissioned by the museum and its Docent Association in 2021, its rich detail is a celebration of the late Gayle Begley, a founder of the association and lifetime honorary trustee.
“Gayle was the most giving person I’ve met,” Schuetter says. “Her daughters and friends helped me weave together mementos that reflect both her life — from the orchids she loved to her famous turkey tetrazzini recipe — and her work with the museum.”
If you’re planning a visit, “prepare to be engaged,” Gianopoulos says. Not only did he choose compelling art for the show, but Education Curator Karen Malone also added interactive features that let you have a hand in making still-life art. Don’t be shy, and don’t be afraid to touch.
CAPTURED MOMENTS emuseum.org
PHOTOS BY ZACH STRAW