Tabletop Arenas, an exhibit of contemporary still-life paintings, will open its national tour on March 28 at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville. It will remain on view through June 13. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April 3, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. It is open to the public and free of charge.
Tabletop Arenas features 59 still-life paintings by the 24 members of Zeuxis, a national association of still-life painters. The exhibition also will include paintings by seven guest artists, including Lennart Anderson, William Bailey, Susannah Phillips and Sandra Stone. Bevin Engman, associate professor of art at Colby, is among the association’s still-life painters represented.
The exhibition’s unifying motif–still-life–is a constant, but the subjects vary, including bowls of oranges, a cow skull, Chinese pastries, books and a lone rectangular box. Styles range from precise realism to the abstract, representing a range of approaches to a genre that has deep roots in the history of painting. The works are primarily done in oil; acrylics and collages also are represented.
Since Zeuxis’s founding, in 1994, the association has mounted more than two dozen exhibitions. The group shares an interest in a perceptual response to nature and a search for aesthetic value. The groups namesake, Zeuxis, was a legendary painter from ancient Greece whose illusions of nature were so compelling that birds attempted to eat the grapes from one of his paintings.
Colby museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information call 207-872-3228 or visit www.colby.edu/museum.