Fruitlands Museum opens "Visceral Murmurs" exhibition

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Fruitlands Museum opens "Visceral Murmurs" exhibition
Scott Erb, Wandering Muse.

HARVARD, MA.- “Visceral,” meaning instinctive or elemental, is not usually a word associated with sound, even the most gentle one, as it is in the title of the Fruitlands Museum’s newest exhibition, “Visceral Murmurs.”

Appropriately enough, “Visceral Murmurs,” opening Sunday, August 19th and running through October 28th, is a collection of works that evokes emotions ranging from the familiar to the unsettling. The works explore some of the more subtle and elemental qualities of light and darkness, earth and sky. Each of the artists – Brian Burris, Scott Erb and Cynthia Woehrle – has created pieces around the theme of “night,” which are sure to leave much for viewer interpretation.

Erb is a photographer whose compositions challenge our expectations of landscape and portraiture by experimenting with the latest photographic technology and techniques.

“This work is different from work I’ve done in the past because it incorporates shooting outside,” says Erb. “I usually shoot in a studio, so working around the weather and the elements of nature creates a unique challenge, but we had a great time and I think people are going to see some really great work by some really great artists.”

Burris is a painter whose works are emotional abstractions, with a raw power that sometimes verges on the recognizable in disturbing ways.

“My pieces tend to be interpreted as moody or unsettling,” says Burris. “I definitely push for the psychological interpretation of my pieces and my best hope is that people are affected by them. I’m really looking forward to doing my first museum show and to have it be so close to Worcester is pretty exciting.”

Woehrle is also a painter whose works, although different in style from Burris, capture similar ethereal qualities of light and sky reminiscent of some earlier Tonalist artists.

“The Visceral Murmurs exhibition has given me the opportunity to delve into ideas of a place symbolizing emotion,” says Woehrle. “The six resulting works, for me, are a journey through memories, those moments that live in my gut, from peace to turmoil, love and loss. They offer one of three perspectives--another side to Brian’s psychological action paintings and to Scott’s mysterious figurations--each of us presenting a visceral idea that longs for a philosophical truth.”

“There is a dreamlike quality to the art composed by all three of these talented individuals,” says Mike Volmar, Fruitlands’ curator of “Visceral Murmurs.” “I am particularly excited to see their works side-by-side in the art gallery nearby to works from the permanent collection, drawing attention to the complex way art reflects the evolution of culture over time.”

After the opening on Sunday, August 19, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Burris, Erb and Woehrle will meet and speak with guests about the pieces featured in the show and other work they’ve done. The show is scheduled to run through October 28.

In addition to being present for the opening, each of the artists will host an individual artist talk while the show is on view. Scott Erb will host a talk on Saturday, September 15 (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.); Brian Burris on Saturday, September 22 (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.); and Cynthia Woehrle on Sunday, October 7 (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.). Guest will have the opportunity to interact with the artists and directly ask questions about their works and inspirations.

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