This is the sixth year of CAM’s annual exhibition Illumination. Illumination, an exhibition of artist-made lanterns, marks the transition of the season’s change and the year’s end at CAM since 2015. This year, deep in the COVID crisis, CAM asked artists to examine their own metaphorical concept of light. Luminescence often symbolizes transformation, enlightenment, or an epiphany. Glowing lamplight might remind us of home and safety, the porch light left on for your return. We talk of our inner light or how someone can light up a room. Candles lit in remembrance show that the memory of a loved one still burns bright. The beam of a lighthouse and an airplane’s runway can guide our way. Light makes things visible, sweeping away shadows, and showing what resides in darkness.
Over 45 artists submitted work from across the United States and as far away as Canada. The work of the artists in this year’s exhibition, through content, style, and choice of material, demonstrates what light means to each person, personally. This is the largest installation of Illumination yet, and it is installed so that it can be enjoyed inside the museum and outside the museum from the reception hall window. We hope the wonder of Illumination 2020 brings light into the lives of our visitors.
Black Art Matters presents Willie Cole’s Blackronyms blackboards with word prompts such as CIVIL, RIGHTS, WHITE, BLACK which encourage visitors to respond. The artist openly invites us to sit at one the exhibition’s school desks, study the blackboards, and ponder what democratic ideals and equality might be one day in America. Fearlessly, Cole challenges us to accept the racial biases and inequalities continuing to shape the socio-political climate and economic structure of the United States. Willie Cole (American, b. 1955) grew up in Newark, New Jersey but traces his father’s family to Brunswick and Columbus counties. He attended the Boston University School of Fine Arts, received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1976, and continued his studies at the Art Students League of New York from 1976 to 1979. He is the recipient of many awards, including the 2006 Winner of the David C. Driskell Prize, the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African-American art and art history.
She Persists coincides with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and explores the ways in which female artists in Cameron Art Museum’s permanent collection persist in their own lives, in their communities, in their world, both personally and politically --- through art. From Mary Cassatt, whose paintings and prints were featured in exhibitions supporting suffrage, to feminist Audrey Flack, whose work Medea is a conscious redeeming of that tragic figure, to Beverly Buchanan, who fiercely explored identity as an African American woman through sculpture, land art, photography, and painting, this exhibition of 100 works for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment creates a powerful dialogue about what it means to be a woman.
Exhibition sponsored in part by: Louise Mann In honor of Anne Brennan • Dr. Bill Malloy and Maxine Terry in honor of Dr. Carol Malloy • Elizabeth Wells in loving memory of Nell Webb • Mort and Judy Neblett • FOX Wilmington • Frances Goodman in memory of my mother, Barbara D. Lane • Jean Keller in memory of Mary C. Hoey and Louise C. Graham • Jennifer Kraner honoring CAM and its ever increasing presence in our school system and in our lives. • Anonymous sponsor in Honor and Gratitude for Mary Cecil Dodge
The Face of Lincoln is a meticulous casting formed in bronze from the original terra cotta sculpture by Robert Merrell Gage. In 1956, Gage created the Face of Lincoln in clay, based upon and inspired by the remarkable 1860 plaster life mask made of Lincoln by Chicago sculptor, Leonard Volk. It was one of only two face masks ever created of President Abraham Lincoln. Throughout his career, Gage sculpted likenesses of Lincoln in many stages of the president's life, and starred in the 1955 Academy Award winning film, The Face of Lincoln (20 minutes), also shown in the gallery.
Gillespie, an accomplished NYC artist, cherished the vibrant arts scene in Wilmington. The sculptures in CAM’s courtyard are from her Rockefeller Center Exhibit and will be displayed at CAM through March 2021 as part of the Dorothy Gillespie Centennial Celebration.
Gillespie was an American painter and sculptor who enjoyed an artistic career that spanned over 70 years. Known for her tremendous output of colorful, joyful sculptural art, she was among those who blazed a path for women artists during the feminist art movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Gillespie owned a house in Wilmington’s historic district and lectured at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
The stunning works by Wilmington artist Virginia Wright-Frierson in The Lived-In Body: Celebrating Women Over 65 celebrate, as Wright-Frierson writes, “the lived-in body, our crepey arms that have lifted babies 1,000 times, gardened, cleaned, cooked, and taken care of others; our worn feet and our breasts and stomachs that now sag. We have worked and given and created. We are aging, and we’re lucky to have reached this time to appreciate our experiences and wisdom and celebrate that we have survived.”
San Francisco art collector Louis Belden gave his art collection, the gift of his lifetime, to our community. This collection of prints invites us to share in his passions for art, for collecting, for learning, and for giving back. These works offer a range of expression, experimentation, and expansion of the terrain of postwar modernism and post-modernism. His gift to Cameron Art Museum is truly unprecedented in our region, giving future generations access to this treasure for years to come.
These 134 modernist prints by 51 artists reveal Belden’s journey and are primarily presented in the order he acquired them. The exhibition begins with his bold 1971 acquisition, Art Beat, a neon orange silk screen by Nobu Fukui. By the mid-1990s, he had acquired work by the leading artists, the change-makers, the radicals, such as Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, and Wayne Thiebaud. His ﬁnal acquisitions of work by Richard Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, and Ellsworth Kelly show the continuing growth and reﬁnement of the collection.
Art is not stagnant. It grows and grows and grows. There will be new trends, some of which will be successful and some will not be and I have no idea what those trends will be. But it is exciting to wait around and see what does evolve. Certainly I have evolved in the last 20 years and plan to continue to evolve in the future.
Sponsored in part by: Hampton Inn Medical Park, Live Oak Private Wealth, LS3P, Dr. William Malloy, Syneos Health, LLC, Wilmington Wealth Consulting.
Stroll through the ART PARK with sculptures by Charlie Brouwer, Clyde Jones, Vollis Simpson, Mel Chin and Dixon Stetler located throughout.
Take an up close look at Cameron Art Museum's whirly-gig by Vollis Simpson.
Visit the historic Forks Road Civil War Site. Walk along the only remaining vestige of historic Federal Point Road, the primary thoroughfare in the 1860s from Fort Fisher to Wilmington. See a reconstruction of the Confederate revetments which originally spanned a course of five miles from the Cape Fear River to present-day Hugh MacRae Park. On the NC Civil War Trails marker, read about the Forks Road battle on February 20-12, 1865 fought victoriously by 1600 United States Colored Troops, contributing to the Fall of Wilmington on February 22, 1865.
Enjoy a stroll along the pond and through the NATURE TRAILS located on the 9.3 acres of the museum campus. The trail winds its way from the museum front door north to our historic woodlands. On the trail you will observe native plant and animal life. Also walk along the FRUIT GROVE planted in 2011 in honor of Paul W. Phillips, CAM's Senior Security Guard. The orchard contains white and black muscadine grapes, peach, pear, fig, apple, plum and blueberry plantings.