Arlene Solomon


Photocollages

Mixed Media

Archived Work

Artist's Statement

I am a collage and mixed media artist. I began studying art about 15 years ago, while working full time as Director of a program for individuals with mental health and other challenges seeking employment. I took advantage of the excellent teachers in my own backyard. Mixed media and collage became my passion. Collage making is like solving a puzzle: the pieces and elements have to fit together to make an image that works. It’s always a thrill when I feel like I hit the right combination. I use bright, vivid colors that resonate with me and draws the attention of the viewer. Composition is paramount and I most often use rectangular shapes and strong angles that overlap and intersect each other.

My collages have a definite sense of playfulness. In one series, I used museum guides with bright colors and glossy paper that I used to create galleries in my own fantasy art museums. I connected the galleries by a series of dots and then added figures going about the museum. My work has been nostalgic, creating memory collages on personal themes such as my parents’ honeymoon in Atlantic City or my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I also create “Alterated Boxes,” assemblages containing altered objects combined in unexpected ways. Themes having personal significance include physical wellbeing and sewing, and tea drinking, often a vehicle for sharing news of the day with significant others. I always leave the top of the box, slightly ajar, to invite the viewer in to see what’s inside.

In my recent work, I created photocollages of urban landscapes from my own photographs. I focus on one or several buildings noting prominent architectural elements. I often pay attention to doors and windows, and ornate carvings. I alter these elements to create a new building. I may add in photos from other locations, and I may paint the sky and add paper for texture and sidewalks or streets. Some sections of the piece are raised giving the work a 3-dimensional quality. I work on a small scale, the largest pieces being 11 x 14, with much time devoted to little details. My subject matter includes buildings around Philadelphia, Temple and Drexel Universities, and last summer, a Ferris wheel and an amusement park in Ocean City, New Jersey.
While looking at one of my pieces at a recent show, a patron commented that she really couldn’t tell that the scene had been created although she said she knew that the buildings in the piece were not really near each other. Success!

Selected Exhibitions

Group
2018
Avalon Performing Arts Council (APAC) Art Show
Jurors: Ruth Snyderman, Claire Haik, Monica Zane

Works on Paper, DaVinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia
Juror: Moe Brooker

2017
Spring Gala Show, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juror: Ekaterina Popova

2015
Aloft, Beauty Gallery, Newtown Square, PA
Juror: Madeleine Kelly

2014
Artist’s House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Tony Morinelli

Spring Show, Delaware Valley Art League, Valley Forge, PA
Juror: Garth Herrick

2012
Member’s Show, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juror: Robert Cozzolino

Other

2016, 2017
Chester County Art Studio Tour
Juror: Jeff Schaller

2015, 2016
Daylesford Abbey Annual Show

Commission

Private, Temple Off Broad, Mixed Media Photocollage

2010
Private, Canadian Coast, Mixed Media

Affiliations

Da Vinci Art Alliance
The Delaware Valley Art League
Mainline Art Center

Awards and Honors

2018
First Place, Mixed Media, APAC Art Show, Avalon, NJ

2015
Honorable Mention, Beauty Gallery, Newtown Square, PA

2014
Grant to provide 10 Recovery Through Collage workshops to mental health programs around the City, The Philadelphia Dept. of Behavioral Health

Merit Award, Spring Show, Delaware Valley Art League, Valley Forge, PA

2013
Judges Choice Award, Gladwyne Library League Art Show, Gladwyne, PA

2012
Gilbert Printing Services Award, Member Show, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA

Education

1973
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
MS, Rehabilitation Counseling

1971
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
BA, English

Certifications
C.P.R.P., Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Professional
C.R.C., Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

Continuing Education
2003 - present
Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA, classes since 2003

  • Fantasy Collage, Leah MacDonald, 2016
    Photography, Rich Dunoff
  • Art of Collage, Andrea Snyder, 4 years
  • Art of Collage, Francine Shore, 2 semesters
  • Printmaking, Christine Stoughton, 2 semesters
  • Drawing and Oil Painting, Henry Martin

2011 – 2013
Mixed Media and Collage Techniques, Nancy Barch, Community Art Center, Wallingford, PA