Parrish Opens Digital Exhibition “Telling Stories: Reframing The Narratives”

Devin Troy Strother (American, born 1986) "i can feel the tectonic plates shifting, and it's feeling quite uplifting," 2020. Acrylic, oil stick, pastel, cut painted watercolor paper on canvas 45 x 71 inches. Courtesy the artist and Marlborough Gallery, New York.

On Friday, May 15, at 5 p.m., join Parrish Art Museum Adjunct Curator David Pagel, a professor of art theory and history at Claremont Graduate University and an art critic for the Los Angeles Times, and Museum Director Terrie Sultan for a live presentation to launch “Telling Stories: Reframing the Narratives.” “Telling stories” is a robust online exhibition of work by eight contemporary artists who transform their unique personal histories into participatory dramas.

Pagel, who organized the exhibition, will give an illustrated talk on the themes and concepts explored by the participating artists, and discuss their work with Sultan.

Based on the full exhibition initially planned at the museum for spring 2020, prior to closures due to the Coronavirus, “Telling Stories” highlights the role that narrative plays in understanding the world. Through work that engages memory and history, fact and fancy, dreams and nightmares, the participating artists engage in varied approaches to and styles of stories that change by virtue of who is telling them. The artists — working in a variety of media and ranging in age, career stage, geographic location, and heritage — include: JooYoung Choi (American, born Korea, 1983), Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock/American, born 1990), Jeffrey Gibson (Choctaw-Cherokee/American, born 1972), Elliott Hundley (American, born 1975), Candice Lin (American, born 1979), Mary McCleary (American, born 1951), Jim Shaw (American, born 1952), and Devin Troy Strother (American, born 1986).

“While it may be impossible to present a show with something for everyone, this one aims in that direction: to bring together works whose storylines are unique yet weave together in ways that reveal what it’s like to be alive today,” said Pagel.

Sultan noted, “The current challenges presented by our physical closure have also offered us a wonderful opportunity to explore new ways of thinking about exhibitions, and sharing information and inspiration. This digital ‘Telling Stories’ is an engaging new delivery method that allows audiences from around the world to see and experience works that are at once joyous and optimistic, deeply thoughtful and stimulating, and that give us new ways of thinking about the stories we tell.”

In weeks to come, related programs will include talks with the participating artists and curators as the online exhibition continues to develop with additional material including video interviews by Pagel with the artists; essays by the artists and art writers; images of 62 paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and installation; and additional video and audio material.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 224-page catalogue published by the Parrish Art Museum. Visit for more information.