In Search of Meaning: Memory Becomes Us by Patricia Moss-Vreeland
An Exhibition Illuminating the role memory plays in relation to who we are. March 8 - May 21, 2021
Patricia Moss-Vreeland's drawings, paintings, prints, artist books, poetry, and videos are metaphoric responses and reside in concert with the interlacing of science texts, connecting the personal to the universal. In a series of conversations Moss-Vreeland's has with Dr. Dasa Zeithamova, University of Oregon, they explore the function of the human brain to find meaning, the parallel universe of art and science, their different ways of knowing and self-expression, and the importance of stepping out of our silos and forming relationships. Moss-Vreeland integrates her ongoing inquiry about the social impact of memory in new works, adding another layer of meaning, along with new sensory components.
(Left) All The Remembering, Archival Pigment Print, (Center) Memory Emerging Patterns (Right) The Ordinariness of Each Day Became Heroic, Mixed Media, Graphite, Collage, Linocut, Pastel
I have always made art from a necessity to create a sense of order and meaning, to transcend the everyday. The words I write, the things I paint and render, are daily exercises of my viewing, remembering and imagining.
For over three decades I have investigated memory and its role in our lives. My work expanded to explore the art and science of memory and the effects of sensory input. I draw upon my poetry and photography as source material for my drawings, paintings, mixed media, pigment prints, and videos, and as a medium of spatial and temporal memory, anchoring each as a unique sensory experience.
I use a range of images and my poetry to arrive at metaphoric compositions that have meaning on many layers; some are inspired by interior networks and patterns of neurological activity, landscapes where our human interactions are visible, still lives and abstractions as distillations of place, time and memory. My compositions are banded and intertwined with representational imagery and abstraction, as I am interested in the interaction and associative experience that these evoke.
I have a reverence for place and its connection to memory; our role in the environment and social relationships are important to my sense of artistic purpose. I explore ideas about our connectedness with each other and to nature.
Quality of rendering in all media is very important to me. I vary my techniques in relationship to content. What I imagine and observe are woven together. I like capturing the feeling of something, not just the way it appears, as our emotions and experiences provide the shape and dimension to how we remember.
Patricia Moss-Vreeland is an artist, author, poet, and thought leader on the relationship between art, memory, learning, and creativity; and the social impact of memory through science, history and language. Her work spans four decades and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Collaborating with neuroscientists, she has over two decades exploring the functioning of the human brain and the construction of memory, that has led her to reflect upon memory as a meditation on who we are. Her work has been recognized since 1999 when hailed by the Baltimore Sun, as “an invitation to think differently about memory and the creative process.” Moss-Vreeland works in a range of media; paintings, drawings, prints, mixed media collages, videos, and artist books. She incorporates her poetry at times to suggest the ways that language and memory are intertwined.
Moss-Vreeland’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Her art resides in many permanent collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and The Norton Museum. She exhibited her work at the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia for two decades. Moss-Vreeland was selected through a national competition to design the Memorial Room for the Holocaust Museum Houston. In 1997, this permanent installation earned four awards, including the American Institute of Architects Honor award in Design. Moss-Vreeland went on to receive the Art-in-Science XIV Millennial commission for Memory-Connections Matter, at the Esther Klein Gallery, University City Science Center, Philadelphia, which traveled to the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, becoming the central focus for the Fields of Mind Conference featuring Moss-Vreeland and her neuroscience advisor, Dr. Barbara Malamut, as keynote speakers.
Recent Solo exhibitions include, A Parallel Universe, Trinity College, Hartford, CT, 2016; Revelations and Transformation, Layers of Memory, Penn Memory Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2017; In Search of Meaning: Memory Becomes Us, EKG, University City Science Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2019, with catalogue. Patricia Moss-Vreeland has authored and designed the book, A Place for Memory: Where Art and Science Meet, is a TEDx speaker, and was profiled on PBS, Movers and Makers. She recently curated the exhibition, Remembering the Suffragists, 100 Years of Women Voting in the United States, for InLiquid, with an educational Forum, connecting the history of Women’s Suffrage to issues about voting, equity and inclusivity today. Moss-Vreeland believes in designing different forms of knowledge through art about our place in the world that includes public participatory events and workshops, employed in her most recent exhibitions. In her art, she goes beyond expressing herself, to find points of connections, and to create a new collective memory.