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May 17, 2007 to August 23, 2007

Kip Deeds: Towards a 49th State

Storytelling in both words and in pictures, the works of Kip Deeds weave a narrative based on continuing themes the artist has been exploring throughout his career. Mingling personal observations and experiences with history—Deeds often utilizes a place or a story entailing a journey as the impetus for an entire series of works. For Towards a 49th State, Deeds makes his final destination the state of Alaska—a journey influenced by an earlier series involving what the artist has termed the Arkadelphia. The Arkadelphia was inspired by a sign he had seen while traveling through Alabama. Appropriating the name, he symbolized the Arkadelphia as an actual an ark, which ultimately served in the pervious series as well as in Towards a 49th State as a metaphor of traveling through history. In his new series, the Arkadelphia makes the voyage to Alaska—a state that has been romanticized throughout history as a place of challenging and heroic journeys in the unspoiled wilderness.

Aesthetically influenced by such artists as Alice Neel, William T. Wiley, Edward Hicks, and Roger Brown, Deeds employs the process of thinking and creating simultaneously, resulting in an image that is layered both physically and metaphorically. Employing prints, collage, graphite, paint, and watercolor, Deeds combines his expertise as a print maker with a more evocative and spontaneous application of additional materials directly to the surface of the final work. This layering allows the artist to generate an alternative vision of a place or an event—one generated by the encounter of history from the artist’s own point of view.

Kip Deeds received a B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Deed has had solo exhibitions at: Next Door Gallery, Leland, MI (2006); Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia (2005); Hunt Gallery, Webster University, St. Louis, MO (2005); Wakeley Gallery, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL (2004); Sykes Gallery, Millersville University, Millersville, PA (2004); Hutchins Gallery, The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ (2003); and The Blue Shirt Project, Birmingham, AL (2001). Among many other group exhibitions, Deeds work has been featured most recently at: The Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial, Boston University, Boston, MA (2007); International Print Center, New York, NY (2006); Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ (2006); Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO (2006); Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2006); Arcadia University, Glenside, PA (2006); Art in City Hall, Philadelphia (2006); Spector Gallery, Philadelphia (2006); Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA (2005); The Print Center, Philadelphia (2005); City without Walls, Newark, NJ (2004); and Ben Shahn Gallery, William Patterson University, Wayne, NJ (2004). Deeds teaches Printmaking, Etching, and Lithography and is the Master Printer at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. He has also taught at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen, MI, and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He has had residencies at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; Frans Masereel Centre, Kasterlee, Belgium; Vermont Studio Center; Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, MN; Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY; and the Ucross Foundation, Ucross, WY.

Tags: works on paper