Collection Spotlight: The Friends and Family Collection

As the reader of an art gallery's blog, you are, I submit more than likely to have visited a museum at some point in your life. As a member of this category of "museum-goers," you are familiar with the rules, often literally unspoken rules, enforced within the walls of a museum. These rules include hushed tones, not touching artwork, and some stance on flash photography.

While these rules may signal a level of solitary enjoyment, museums are one of the rare places in the modern public with an occasional lift on the ban of communication among strangers. As museum goers discover artwork, they share in artful connections with an astute comment here or amazed marvel there. Art opens up common ground and a shared experience. 

In its essence -- or, perhaps, extreme -- art creates friends and family. With these artful connections in mind, we curated The Friends and Family Collection to showcase art's power to connect strangers and create a community.

Here is a closer look at the playful and inviting artworks in this collection: 

Mary Pratt presents a close group of summertime friends in a warm, amusement park glow. This group of five young “gals,” clad in matching 1950’s bathing costumes, is a symbol of the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Mary overlays the golden gold-leaf glamor of adulthood onto the nostalgic carnival motifs and coordinated outfits of childhood.

This playful and imaginative painting is recalls the warmth of childhood playmates. The three colorful cats, with yellow eyes ecstatically opened, are entangled in balls of yarn as they play on a striped blanket. The postures of the cats create a circle that suggest the trio’s friendly, even familial, kindship.

This painting, like the soothing company of likeminded friends, is a dreamy lullaby. The sheep (who are, traditionally when counted, soporific darlings). The eye bounces from pillowy downs of their coats in an allaying harmony of powdery pinks, mossy greens, and grayish blues. This comforting gentleness shares the ease and calmness of easygoing friendships. 

Caress II is the ultimate symbol of friendship. It is the soulmate. The two figures, literalizing the idiom of being cut-from-the-same cloth, they are made of the same material. The figures are sleek and stylized. They are interlocked in such a pleasing harmony in the way that they sit softly together. Every aspect – the gentle curve, the loving arm, the beautifully sweet title – gives this sculpture such a tenderness that make it a symbol of friendship.  

See the entire Friends and Family Collection on UGallery.