Penn State Great Valley will host the works of 17 regional artists from the Assemblage Artists Collective in the Henry Gallery, Oct. 9 through Dec. 17. The exhibit, “From Isolation to Collaboration,” opens with a reception for the public from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9. Following the reception, Assemblage Artists will give a presentation “How to Survive and Thrive in the Art World Despite the Odds” in the Musser auditorium. The opening event is free but registration is required at //assemblageartists.eventbrite.com.
In 1985 a few young artists were graduating from the safety and camaraderie of art school to the harsh reality of the outside world. To ease the transition they began to meet once a month to share information about practical and technical issues, current shows, exhibition opportunities, and to view and discuss one another’s work. The roster has changed, but nine in the current group have been in it from the start, and the group remains small enough to sustain intimacy. The first Assemblage exhibition was in 1991, followed by 12 more exhibits to date.
These exhibitions have become an important focus for Assemblage, even while members maintain their own individual careers. All are active participants in the Philadelphia area art community as practicing artists and members of various art organizations. Several members have been teachers in colleges and universities, local art centers, museums and maximum security state prisons. Their art is collected and seen nationally and internationally, in private and public collections, in galleries and museums.
Originally conceived as a way to relieve the isolation an artist may experience in her studio, Assemblage Artists Collective continues to serve that important purpose, and has, in the process, created and cemented friendships that are an important part of their lives. Their commitment to art and to one another has endured; a testament to their dedication and to the mutual respect and meaningful friendships that have developed over the years.