Francie Bishop Good
June 2 - August 25, 2018
My mother and I graduated from the same high school in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
I am obsessed with both of our high school yearbooks and engrossed with the similarities and differences in the general and specifics. Allentown has gone through transformations and in many ways is a microcosm for other towns in the United States. I found my mother’s Comus, yearbook after she died. She was the class of 1942 and wrote comments next to many of her classmates’ pictures, for example, “Killed in a mission fighting over Germany” or “Died in 1979” giving the photographs a heightened sense and an endless source for my imagination. I reflect on the styles, the hair, and the self-centered innocence from my own class of 1967, providing me with a limitless source of material for this series. My graduation year was absolutely the last minute of American small-town innocence, and the portraits convey that: the smiles, the personal grooming, and the tidy clothing. This series is a staccato of media and a hybrid form of portraiture. I cross-pollinate painting, photography, drawing, and collage with digital layering. The source material of photographs from yearbooks is something very personal yet universal. I am transforming the imagined. “Comus” was and still is the title of the yearbooks from Allentown High School. These portraits are a jumping off point for my experimental work and digital encounters.Merging and compressing ideas and time, I transform the high school yearbook pictures to a new reality. My influences are varied; feminism, Andy Warhol, Chantal Joffe and Charline Von Heyl to my roots in Allentown and remembering my first visits to see the Kress Collectionat the Art Museum to my preschool education at Hess’ Department Store.
Artist reception – Thursday, June 14 6pm
Open to the public