Talking Art With Mary McCleary

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Mary McCleary with "Allegory of the Senses" (2002), part of the Parrish Art Museum’s exhibition "Telling Stories." Photo by Andrew D. Brosig.

On Friday, June 19, at 5 p.m., the Parrish Art Museum presents adjunct curator David Pagel in a live-stream conversation with artist Mary McCleary as part of “Telling Stories: Reframing The Narratives.”

McCleary painstakingly pieces together ordinary materials and found objects in the service of intricate collages layered with symbolism and meaning. She is one of eight artists whose work is featured in “Telling Stories: Reframing the Narratives,” a robust online exhibition that highlights the role that narrative plays in understanding the world through the work of artists who transform their unique personal histories into participatory dramas.

“Now more than ever do we need artists to help us reimagine our everyday life, and I am so pleased to welcome Mary McCleary to open up her world to us,” said Corinne Erni, senior curator of ArtsReach and special projects.

McCleary’s 3-dimensional collages depict images of everyday life—a vase of flowers, a woman smoking, a family in the living room as in “Allegory of the Senses” (2002). A closer look reveals narratives rife with visual clues referencing history, literature, art, and Christianity, as well as an unusual selection of materials. String, cardboard, glitter, sticks, beads, wire, and plastic toys, and even dryer lint are given a higher purpose in McCleary’s visual narratives, such as the magnificent flower bouquet in “Telling the Bees” (2017).

Born in Houston, Texas in 1951, McCleary received her B.F.A., cum laude in printmaking/drawing at Texas Christian University and her M.F.A. in graphics from the University of Oklahoma. In 2011, she was named Texas Artist of the Year by the Art League of Houston. In 2019, she was named Texas 2-D Artist of the Year by the Texas Legislature. She is Regent’s Professor of Art Emeritus at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she taught from 1975 to 2005.

The public is invited to join the talk, part of the museum’s “Friday Nights Live!” series, and take part in a live chat following the presentation. Log in information is at parrishart.org.

A Conversation On Big Issues

The Rogers Memorial Library, in collaboration with libraries throughout Long Island, will broadcast a Zoom conversation between Steve Israel and Richard Salomon on Thursday, June 18, at 6 p.m.

Israel was a member of Congress for 16 years. He left office in 2017, having served as House Democrats chief political strategist between 2011 and 2015 and as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is now the director of the nonpartisan Cornell University Institute of Politics and Global Affairs in New York City.

Israel served on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies, where he took a leading role in supporting historic preservation, land conservation, and cultural arts investments. He is also currently a political commentator, columnist, and novelist, having written two critically acclaimed satires of Washington.

Richard Salomon is the founder and CEO of Vantage Point Consultants and co-founder and vice president of the board of directors of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Israel and Salomon will discuss the upcoming election and other issues of national and global importance. Visit Parrishart.org for more information.

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