I’m overwhelmed by the response to my first major retrospective exhibition, WHAT A RELIEF: The Art of Salley Mavor. In its first 6 weeks, visitors have streamed in from all over to see a big portion of my life’s work at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine. There’s a lot to see – four galleries on the Museum’s first floor contain over 150 works that span 40 years (more if you count my childhood pieces), from early sculptures, to picture book illustrations to my recent foray into current affairs. If you’re considering traveling to see the exhibit, there’s still time, since it’ll be there for another 8 weeks, through Sept. 11th. I’d thought that people would drive in from the surrounding New England states, which they are, but I’m flabbergasted to hear that fans are actually flying in from other parts of the country to see my work in person!
I’m touched that so many of you’ve gone out of your way to see my work in person. It makes me feel that all of the effort that went into this exhibit was worth it! These are just a few of the comments coming in:
“Hands down, one of the most beautiful, inspiring and creative museum exhibits I have ever seen. I will remember this forever!” -Lucinda Shattuck, Dover, NH
“We are blown away with wonder and delight. We spent over three hours gazing up close at every inch of your amazing work. Best weekend ever!!’ – Julie Steller of Minneapolis, MN
“There is so much to feast your eyes on! I love that women, diversity, and politics all take center stage, too.” – Marty Lapointe-Malchik, Concord, MA
For those of you from the other side of the world, I’ll do my best to show what the exhibit looks like. In this video, I walk through one the galleries that contains original artwork for Pocketful of Posies and MY BED.
I look forward to seeing your smiling faces (via Zoom) when the Museum hosts “An Afternoon with Salley Mavor” ZOOM Talk on Aug. 25 at 2:00 PM (eastern time). After my presentation, there will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Please register HERE. Don’t worry if you live in another time zone, the event will be recorded to watch later.
Visitors of all ages are enjoying the show. We hung the artwork a little lower than usual, so that children and short adults can see the detail more easily.
The wall of women has turned into a popular photo-op spot.
At the opening reception in June, I loved meeting people, signing books and
admiring a pair of adorable fairies made from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk.
This exhibit follows my career through many twists and turns, including my recent venture into political satire. The “Liberty and Justice” room holds the Wee Folk Players cartoons and the props and characters from our stop motion animation, Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale, which visitors can watch on a video monitor.
Jim Newman of Woods Hole, MA wrote to tell me this tidbit:
“My favorite moment was in the Liberty and Justice room, where an elderly lady, bent over a walker, looked over at me and started a nice conversation with “EVERYONE needs to come see this.”
I want to thank the staff at the Brick Store Museum, particularly Leanne Hayden, who believed in me and supported the idea of a large solo exhibition like this. Let’s be honest, when your medium is embroidery, it can be a challenge to have your work taken seriously by the art and museum world. There is no question that Leanne viewed my work as art from the first time she saw it. After years of planning, it’s gratifying to have everything magically fall into place. I’m thrilled to share my work in such a warm and inviting venue!
Leanne’s kind words about the show left me speechless.
” It has been such a pleasure to work with Salley and host her first major retrospective. I knew it would be a great summer exhibit for the whole family but I never could have imagined the enthusiastic and heartwarming response we receive every day from visitors. I love to hear stories of visitors who have traveled from all over the country to see this exhibit. But my favorite reactions are from those who had never heard of Salley Mavor and are seeing everything for the first time. I have actually had visitors stop me in the galleries just to tell me that this is the best exhibit they have ever seen. Or to hear audible gasps from a particular piece. That is the kind of experience you always hope for when putting an exhibit together.”Leanne Hayden, Collections Manager, Brick store Museum
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