Garden is a solo exhibition of new work by Pia De Girolamo, presented by Cerulean Arts Gallery. Created in isolation during the pandemic, the show features botanical paintings De Girolamo painted in Philadelphia in response to a fellow artist’s Instagram photographs of the Huntington Gardens in Los Angeles. The paintings are the result of a cross-country and cross-pandemic collaboration focused on healing.
I began my most recent botanical series of paintings during the Covid-19 pandemic and travel ban. In a departure from my usual studio practice, I began to work from the Instagram photographs of a lifelong friend who lived on the West Coast, Laurel Adrian Termini. Termini and I have not seen each other in person since we were roommates at Barnard College in New York. Laurel connected with me some years ago on Facebook and Instagram noting that we had both gone into healthcare and had become artists.
During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, I took refuge in the studio and steadily worked on a series focusing on the Arctic, which was based on my travels to the Svalbard Archipelago above the Arctic Circle in 2019.
As I completed the arctic series, I began noticing Laurel’s Instagram feed filling up with keenly observed photos from the Huntington Gardens, a botanical garden near where she lives. I could see that Laurel was not merely capturing pretty pictures. She was focusing on form, line, shadow, and mystery with an underlying sense of deeply felt emotion.
Laurel was focusing intently on nature and releasing the stress caused by her role as a healthcare professional during the pandemic. Recognizing that Laurel’s restorative experiences in nature were similar to my own, I was drawn to reinterpret her floral photographs on canvas.
The paintings in this exhibition, and the photographs that inspired them, are a testament to the capacity of nature to nurture and heal even in the most challenging times.
Garden will be on view at Cerulean Arts Gallery in Philadelphia from April 6 – May 1. The opening reception is on Saturday, April 9th from 2 – 5 PM. The Virtual Artist Tour & Talk will take place on Wednesday, April 20th at 6 PM. Cerulean Arts Gallery hours are Wednesday – Friday 10 AM – 6 PM and Saturday & Sunday 12 – 6 PM. Masks are required by all visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Cerulean Arts Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in Philadelphia. Boasting eight gallery spaces, a classroom, and an artisan shop, Cerulean supports local artists and collectors. The gallery presents monthly exhibitions, workshops, and artist lectures. For more information on Cerulean Arts Gallery
Pia De Girolamo is an accomplished painter living and working in the Greater Philadelphia area whose recent exhibitions featured large-scale paintings based on abstracted mountain landscapes, as well as a series evoking the urban landscapes of Rome and Italy. She has had thirteen solo exhibitions, most recently at the Museo Mastroianni, within the Musei di San Salvatore in Lauro in Rome and at the Cerulean Arts Gallery in Philadelphia. She has also shown extensively in group exhibitions regionally. De Girolamo has a BA in Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University and an MD degree from the University of Rochester. She lectures on the relationship between art and medicine as well as the connections between art, nature, and health. Her awarded work has been acquired for collections by the Museo Mastroianni, Rome, PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, PA and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and has been highlighted in Hollywood feature films. For more information on De Girolamo’s work: piadegirolamo.com