Installation Views at the Weil Gallery, Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts
Allison Bianco: Atlantic Time was curated by Michele L’Heureux, Gallery Director at the Wheaton College Beard and Weil Galleries during the winter of 2016/17. A catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition. Installation photo credit, Scott Lapham.
Catalogue Forward by Michele L’Heurex:
Wheaton College sits less than 30 miles from the Rhode Island coastline, which features prominently in Allison Bianco’s exhibition Atlantic Time. Moreover, Wheaton’s students hail from many coastal communities around the globe—including California, Maine, and Florida, and as far away as Venezuela, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates. For most of these students, returning home after short or long periods of time is fraught with emotion, possibility, and nostalgia.
It is this kind of nostalgia—inspired by her own Rhode Island homecoming after living in Hawai’i for a time—that informs Allison Bianco’s prints. Exquisitely drawn coastal panoramas recede into richly colored, dreamy landscapes that evoke childhood memories and the passage of time. Who better to understand the cycles of change that people and their environments undergo over time than the college student who returns home year after year to find familiar landscapes—and themselves—changed forever? Furthermore, Bianco’s impeccable craftsmanship and innovative layering of printmaking techniques is not only an inspiration to Wheaton’s budding artists but is also the ideal vehicle for a nuanced and textured examination of nostalgia, a sentiment familiar to most.
Wheaton College’s philosophy is predicated on collaboration, and in that spirit, this exhibition allowed me to collaborate with Cade Tompkins Projects of Providence, RI, for which I am grateful. Cade Tompkins has been a superb advocate for Allison Bianco’s work, as well as for dozens of other emerging and established contemporary artists, through her gallery exhibitions and collaborations with leading institutions throughout the United States, and I am thankful for her hard work and generosity.