(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Liz Whitney Quisgard: Kaleidoscope, a vivid selection of paintings, sculptures, and fiber wall hangings installed in the Ellen Crane Memorial Room, is on exhibit at Berkshire Museum now through October 21, 2012. Reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics, artist Liz Whitney Quisgard’s artworks utilize an exuberant palette to produce her intricate geometric patterns comprised of marks, or dots, placed in a mesmerizing array of triangles, spirals, lines, and circles. Sumptuous colors and rich patterns create a scintillating rhythm and texture across her paintings and fiber works. Other influences include Navajo textiles, Baroque architectural details, and Oriental rugs. On Saturday, June 2, at 4 p.m., Quisgard will present a provocative discussion of her work and her exhibition, followed by an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m.; the talk is free with museum admission; the reception is free and open to the public.
“My goal is to surprise and engage the mind by seducing the eye,” says Quisgard. “Toward that end I rely on pattern. We all understand a row of triangles, a strip of squares, an arrangement of circles and swirls. No need to ask their meaning. They simply are what they are. They speak to us universally and without apology.”
“Liz Quisgard is an artist who is not afraid to use color and pattern toward surprising ends,” says the show’s curator, Berkshire Museum director of interpretation Maria Mingalone. “Her work knocks your socks off with its full-on, intricate colored patterns and amazing textures that bring to mind exotic cultures. We are bringing in her textile wall hangings for an installation in the Ellen Memorial Crane Room, where even the immense scale of that room will find it hard to contain the op-art like, sophisticated treatment of vibrant geometric patterns and color.”
Quisgard’s wall hangings are composed of energetic patterns of yarn stitched into a stiff buckram backing, worked in her signature, ebullient color choices. Quisgard’s paintings are acrylic or oil on canvas, some incorporating found objects. Many of the wall squares resemble abstract mosaics, symmetrical in design, while other pieces are free-form and eccentric.
An award-winning, nationally renowned artist, Liz Whitney Quisgard lives and works in New York City. Among her numerous grants and awards, she received the prestigious Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2001, and has been chosen for residencies at the Millay Colony and the Yaddo Colony, among others.
Originally from Philadelphia, Quisgard graduated from the Maryland Institute’s College of Art, earned her MFA at the Maryland Institute Rinehart School of Sculpture, and attended the Maryland Institute School of Architectural Design and Drafting. She has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Goucher College, and the University of Maryland.
Liz Whitney Quisgard has had solo exhibitions of her work at numerous museums and galleries including the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee; the Phillips Art Museum, Franklin Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Mahattanville College, Purchase, New York; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City Hall Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina; the Gilchrist Museum, Cumberland, Maryland; the Shakolsky Foundation, Jim Thorp, Pennsylvania; Loveland Museum, Colorado; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Kentucky; Visual Arts Association, Louisville, Kentucky; the Curtis Gallery, New Canaan, Connecticut; the Gibson Gallery, Art Museum of the State University of New York at Potsdam; the Flaten Art Museum, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota; Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, and many more. Her work is included in the permanent collections of numerous museums, as well as corporate and private collections across the United States.
Berkshire Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit Berkshire Museum or call 413.443.7171. Museum admission is $13 for adults and $6 for children. Members and children aged three and under enjoy free admission.
The Museum is located at 39 South Street on Route 7 in downtown Pittsfield. Berkshire Museum was established by Zenas Crane in 1903 as a museum of art and natural history. Taking Flight: Audubon and the World of Birds is on view through June 17, 2012. Bryan Nash Gill: Beyond the Landscape is on view through May 28. Little Cinema is now open year-round. Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, Aquarium, Alexander Calder Gallery, and other exhibits are ongoing.