In the feature gallery:
Nocturnes: A Group Exhibition

On View: June 3 - July 29, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 3, 4-7 PM
Curators Talk: Friday, July 14, 11 AM


New Smyrna Beach, FL — Arts on Douglas is pleased to announce the opening of Nocturnes, a themed group exhibition curated by Dr. James Murphy. This exhibition explores the tradition of the nocturne in art and presents how contemporary artists interpret this theme utilizing a range of media. Nocturnes will be on view from June 3 - July 29, 2017. An opening reception is slated for Saturday, June 3 from 4 - 7 PM. During the reception, the gallery will feature light refreshments and the smooth jazz stylings of Trés Bien, featuring Ron Gilotti on the bass, Tyler Rosenke on the drums and Brian Tetras on the piano. The gallery will host a Curators Talk with Dr. James Murphy on Friday, July 14 at 11 AM.


Stephen Bach, Marc Barrett, Bobbi Baugh, Donne Bitner, Jill Cannady, Mollie Doctrow, Heidi Edwards, George Ann Gillespie, René Guerin, Bryce Hammond, BJ Lantz, Carol Munder, Sara Pedigo, Jo Sinclair, Christine Sullivan, Alexis Rogers, Trish Thompson, Anna Tomczak, and Catherine Van Lancker

Heidi Edwards, Nocturne, oil on canvas, 48" x 60" 

From landscapes illuminated by soft remnants of light at dusk, to late night street scenes and mysterious dreamlike impressions; the 19 artists selected for this exhibition have approached the idea of the nocturne from many different perspectives.  This exhibition further aims to provide viewers with an opportunity to contemplate and examine their own understanding of the theme and the emotions associated with and experienced during that elusive time between sunset and sunrise.

In his curatorial statement, Dr. Murphy points out that, while the term nocturne originated in music, it was later adopted into the art world by the late 19th century painter, James Whistler, upon “creating subtle tonal harmonies that echoed the abstract language of music.”  The phrase continues to be used to reference artwork with a dreamy, pensive manner, and examples can be seen in the work of artists across a range of styles and genres, such as Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night and the iconic urban night scenes painted by the American realist, Edward Hopper.

Artists in this exhibition pay homage to earlier representations of the nocturne in art while also exploring personal experiences and inspiration.  One example is the painting by René Guerin titled Chispas, in which she utilizes frenzied brush strokes to evoke movement in figures gathered around a fire that serves to illuminate the scene.  And then there is the piece titled By the Departing Light... by mixed-media artist Jo Sinclair, that elicits a sense of serenity and stillness as the final rays of sunlight skim the horizon, reflect in the water, and make way for the night. 
While the artwork in this exhibition ranges in size, method and interpretation, each piece, nonetheless, comes together in the end as a comprehensive exploration of all that the nocturne can come to represent.
About the Curator:
Dr. Murphy was the first program director of Atlantic Center for the Arts and served as Executive Director of the Society for Photographic Education. He has been an independent curator to arts organizations and is the author of reviews, articles and catalogue essays. He has held full-time faculty positions at the University of Alabama, Stetson University, and Florida State University, where he served as chairman of the Department of Art. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Art History from Florida State University.

René Guerin, Chispas, oil on panel, 12" x 16"