Giants in the Corner and Other Anxious Tales: New Works by Beauharnois, Hobbs and Martolock

Recent work by PAFA alumni Nadine Beauharnois, Morgan Hobbs and Tony Martolock, recipients of the 2016 MFA Faculty Exhibition Award

Nadine Beauharnois, Morgan Hobbs and Tony Martolock graduated from PAFA's Master of Fine Arts program in 2015. As recipients of the 2016 Faculty Exhibition Award, they were invited to return to PAFA one year after graduation for a museum exhibition of their recent work.

Persistent memories give way to awkward tension, and acutely observed realities – and deceptions – pay homage to a lineage of eclectic, eccentric object-making. Beauharnois, Hobbs and Martolock navigate an institutional history while inquisitively reaching into the future. Showcasing their painted anxieties, this exhibition also enables each artist to extend the conversation by placing their work alongside selections from PAFA’s collection.

Nadine Beauharnois was born in Schenectady, New York. She received her BA in Painting and Drawing from SUNY Albany in 2008 and her MFA from PAFA in 2015. She has participated in exhibitions in New York and Philadelphia and currently lives and works in Philadelphia, where she is a member of the artist‐run gallery AUTOMAT Collective. Beauharnois presently makes sculptures that explore the potential of color as raw material by building up thick paint or by mixing paint into wet paper pulp and sculpting with it. On the imperfect, makeshift quality of some of her sculptures, Beauharnois says: “These are humble objects. They sag and bend. Some may appear to be injured or have parts missing. By including elements suggestive of the body like nondescript appendages or eye or tongue‐like shapes, I hope to create a sense of unsettled humor with gestures that tentatively reach or suggestively thrust.”

Morgan Hobbs was born in was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned her MFA in 2015 from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and her BFA with a minor in anthropology in 2010 from the University of Central Missouri. Her education has informed an interest in connecting social science concepts to her work in the studio, and she outlined the three types of visual memory and their relationship to painting in her master’s thesis. In her paintings, she focuses psychology and narrative. She says, “My paintings are an attempt to represent psychologically tense moments in everyday life.” Hobbs has received the Linda Lee Alter Award, attended a residency at Vermont Studio Center, presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research at Weber State University and exhibited her work both regionally and nationally. She is a co-founding member of an artist gallery, AUTOMAT Collective and lives and works in Philadelphia.

Tony Martolock received his MFA degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2015. He completed his BFA degree in Painting in 2012 at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Martolock states, “I draw inspiration from everyday surroundings, focusing on subjects that might easily be overlooked. By carefully observing the spaces I inhabit and the items that reside in those spaces, interesting painting opportunities present themselves from even the most mundane of objects. The process of painting from direct observation accentuates the obvious and subtle peculiarities of living and looking.”