March Art Gallery: Margi Weir

Margi WeirHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents the Frontline Series, ink drawings by Margi Weir
Exhibit Dates: March 3-30, 2017

The Holy Family University Art Gallery is pleased to present Margi Weir’s work, the Frontline Series, a collection of ink drawings. An Assistant Professor of painting and drawing at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Weir earned her MFA in painting from UCLA, her MA in painting from New Mexico State University, a BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA in art history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Weir has had solo exhibitions at Ivan Karp's OK Harris Gallery in New York and the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. Weir has completed installation pieces at Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), Lexington Art League (KY), and the Las Cruces Museum of Art (NM). Awards for her work include first prize in the Contemporary Art Center of Las Vegas' Juried Exhibition in 2012, the prize for Best Work on Paper in the first Southwest Biennial at the Albuquerque Museum in 2006, and Best of Show in the New Directions in Fiber exhibition at the CORE Art Center in Denver, Colorado in 2004.

From the artist: “I began making drawings of ink and ink wash about 10 years ago using a technique that I call a ‘snap line.’ A snap line is the mark made by dipping cotton twine into liquid or diluted ink, pulling it tight, and snapping it against the paper in an action similar to plucking a guitar string. It is a record of the violent impact of ink with paper. It suggests an event, an explosion, a reverberation, yet the over spray lends a softness to the line quality. I like the idea that something beautiful on the surface has an underlying violence, a dark side, if you will.” 

“I moved to Detroit in 2009 to join the faculty of Wayne State University. I found, not only Detroit, but the Midwest in general, to be full of unfamiliar sights and sounds. I was also confronted by the architectural decay that was, initially, frightening. I began to draw these skeletons of buildings to familiarize myself with my new environment. Through drawing, I learned and understood new information. I internalize it and knew it in a way that transformed it into something familiar and less frightening. These drawings are fairly large but they are intimate studies of my neighborhood as I became familiar with it. You could say that I am drawing close to Detroit. I have titled the series ‘Frontline: Detroit’ because I still begin my drawings with snap lines. I use them to find the main compositional and architectural lines to anchor the drawing. As I paid closer attention to the urban ruins, I found that they are not only in Detroit—I began to notice them all across the country. There are architectural bones of regional cultures that dot the countryside along Route 66. There are ruins of motels, gas stations, and whole towns. There are ‘bones’ left from natural as well as financial disaster. I have expanded the ‘Frontline Series’ to include Route 66 and other cities in America.”

“My drawings continue to be private attempts at understanding my surroundings. In the summer of 2013, I began to notice the reclamation by nature of the empty lots left by fire or blight removal. The opulent vegetation makes these open spaces appear pastoral in the heart of the city. These ‘Terrain Vagues,’ which are no longer city but not country either, are my focus in recent drawings. ‘Terrain Vagues’ is a French phrase for urban outlying areas that are in between the city development and the pastoral country. That seems to be an appropriate description of these patches of open space within Detroit.”

The event will take place at Holy Family University’s Education Technology Center (ETC) in the lobby and art gallery. Parking is available to all in the Campus Center parking lot in the visitor section without restriction.

This exhibition is part of Holy Family's monthly Gallery shows held throughout the academic year, each of which showcases a new and diverse exhibit featuring artists from around the world as well as Holy Family University's graduating art majors. The intended audiences of this exhibition are people of all ages.

The University Art Gallery is located on the Lower Level of the Education & Technology Center on the University’s Northeast Philadelphia campus. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 8 am - 8 pm.