The Allegany Arts Council and its Saville Gallery are pleased to present an exhibition of Morgantown, West Virginia artist, Hannah K. Freeman, in her show, "Harmony," to take place February 6-27, 2021.
Hannah K Freeman graduated from Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in 2013 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a minor in 2D Studio Art. She continued at EIU to pursue a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Studio Art, specializing in Painting. After earning her MA degree, Hannah was the Instructor of Graphic Design in the Department of Art at EIU for two years. In 2016, she resigned from her position at EIU to obtain her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Painting at the University of Notre Dame. Hannah earned her MFA degree in May of 2019. She has exhibited her paintings across the country, from California to New York. Hannah is currently a Teaching Assistant Professor of Art at West Virginia University, and teaches courses in painting and foundations.
Learn more about the artist and her approach in this short video:
The intricate worlds of lichens, fungi, and mosses serve as a starting point for Hannah’s paintings. These sublime organisms help ensure and maintain life on earth. She draws upon the history of landscape painting and abstraction, together with ecotheology, to communicate spiritual ideas in relation to creation. Using the finite to think about the infinite, the paintings evoke the mysterious, wondrous, interconnected process of existence.
Hannah alternately manipulates the paint and playfully relinquishes control to create these worlds. The imagery simultaneously fuses and dissolves, oscillating between certainty and uncertainty with the promise of resolving into something familiar. The luminosity of the colors and the use of abstraction convey the euphoric, transcendental sensation of her initial encounter with the subject matter. The abstraction and the colors stimulate not only the visual senses, but also act on the psyche to contemplate the painted microcosms. Hannah hopes the references to creation will invite viewers in, while the abstraction will challenge viewers to perceive in a way that goes beyond the surface of the painting, so they can explore their own thoughts and beliefs.
In this installation of paintings, I aim to create an encompassing, enchanted environment that provokes a search within each viewer, sparking their imagination and prompting a re-discovery of how we view the world. The circular formats are arranged in a way that can inspire each viewer to think about the relationship between the micro and the macro: the process of using the finite to understand the infinite. The paintings either capture specific moments within a larger scene, or serve to reflect the essence of a particular experience. Viewers are left to piece together the moments, filling in the blanks between the surfaces, while questioning their relationship to the paintings themselves. The search created within each viewer is a metaphor for our interaction with the world, our environment, our relationship with ourselves, and our own spirituality: sometimes, we feel more connected; other times, we are searching for meaning and a sense of place. Nevertheless, we are all part of an interconnected system.
Harmony will be available in the Saville Gallery of the Allegany Arts Council from February 6-27, 2020. A digital gallery will be available during the same exhibition dates via the website.