The historic Rotherwas Room meets contemporary art as the Mead inaugurates its biannual exhibition series, the Rotherwas Project. In “Rotherwas Project 1,” the works of Seattle-born artist Amanda Valdez bring a new palette and iconography to the historic oak-paneled room. Influenced by feminism, quilt design, and non-Western as well as Western art, Ms. Valdez combines paint, fabric, and embroidery on canvas to yield abstract forms with undeniable relation to the human body.
Ms. Valdez is the recipient of numerous awards, including artist-in-residencies from Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Joan Mitchell Center. She received her MFA from Hunter College in New York and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She resides in New York.
The ROTHERWAS PROJECT is a biannual exhibition series that features artworks by contemporary artists from around the globe in the Mead’s historic oak-paneled room. Creating an installation in situ, living artists will plumb the incongruous notions of time already present in this provocative space, which was originally built for a Court in Herefordshire, England. Commissioned in the early 1600s by English knight Sir Roger Bodenham, finished in 1611, dismantled in 1731, and shipped to a Fifth Avenue showroom in 1913, the Rotherwas Room made its way to Amherst thanks to the generosity of Herbert Lee Pratt, Class of 1895. Construction of the Mead in 1949 was designed to accommodate this dramatic architectural installation from another time.
Rotherwas Project 1: Amanda Valdez, Ladies’ Night, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA. September 8, 2016 – January 2, 2017.
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