With social distancing still in place, it’s been difficult to have the pleasure of experiencing new art and exhibits—something that typically is within our reach quite easily in the City of Brotherly Love. But Paradigm Gallery in Queens Village has found a way to bring back the excitement of checking out a new art experience, and everyone will be able to visit the showcase virtually.
‘Adapting to Change,’ a solo exhibition of new sculptural works by Jedediah Morfit, will be opening Friday, May 29, and will remain on view until June 27. Morfit, who is known for crafting contemporary interpretations of historical forms, has visited new digital fabrication processes specifically for ‘Adapting to Change.’ The finished product still feels like Morfit’s signature work, but also has what the release describes as a “raw” and “vibrant” feel.
Morfit has been around the art-world for quite some time, the artist received his MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and was also awarded the Sylvia Leslie Herman Young Scholarship and the Award Of Excellence while there. Since his time at school, Morfit was also a Fellow at the Center For Emerging Visual Artists for two years, and received a New Jersey Council On the Arts Fellowship for sculpture in 2009. Among a slew of other accolades Morfit’s work has also been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and was even featured in The New York Times, Sculpture Review, Artnews and American Craft Magazine, plus on NJTV’s State Of the Arts.
According to the release, Morfit’s artistic practice subverts traditional figurative sculpture and mirrors his own lived, contemporary experience. By combining old-world techniques with modern material, his past works created a juxtaposition between old and new, sculpture and sculptor, and that tension is still at the heart of Morfit’s practice, but it has evolved to reflect new artistic technologies.
New technologies had to be implemented with the current pandemic situation, and Morfit was able to use digital tools to execute his familiar style to the virtual sphere. The results are also quite profound, without the slightest give-away of being manufactured, viewers will be able to experience the detailed pieces and still get the feel of being in an Art Gallery in person.
According to the release, while many of the pieces in the exhibition started with existing 3D scans of Greek and Italian busts, they were realized through a combination of 3D fabrication tools and traditional modeling and casting techniques. Many of the pieces are embedded with found objects, like plastic beads and cake doilies, which act as a part of the piece’s DNA; exploited for their texture and bright colors. Morfit takes the intact busts, cuts them up and puts them (almost) back together again. The ensuing works are presented slightly off-kilter, hanging upside down or teetering off an edge.
The unique sculptures are meant to be a little rough around the edges with a look that’s a bit fragmented. For Morfit, a huge amount of work went into composing, deconstructing, modifying, rebuilding and re-imagining the busts.
Paradigm will have ‘Adapting to Change’ on display online and in their Gallery starting May 29, and although everyone can still view the new exhibition for themselves through the virtual sphere, the Gallery is also hoping to be able to allow a limited number of viewing appointments, but this is dependent on the current policies of the CDC, WHO and offices of Gov. Tom Wolf and Mayor Jim Kenney.
Being a contemporary studio that continuously exhibits distinctive work, it only makes sense that Paradigm break the mold during coronavirus with this new work. The Queens Village hotspot has implemented a beacon of artistic experiences from their storefront and online offerings since social distancing first went into place in March, with a number of detailed artwork images on their website and launching a new blog initiative to stay connected to their audience. The Gallery also utilized their social media to help Philadelphians feel connected by showcasing never-before-seen content through collaborations with their artists showcasing live artist Q&As, studio walkthroughs, artist-led creative tutorials and more.
Paradigm would like to note that the Gallery’s number-one priority is the safety and wellness of all visitors. Anyone who is interested in live updates on the exhibition and appointments can visit Paradigm’s website and social channels. For any further questions on Paradigm’s current policies, Philadelphians can email [email protected].