"a portrait of afghanistan"
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is excited to announce a solo exhibition of paintings by award-winning artist Philip Grant. Grant’s paintings form an autobiographical narrative of his experience in the Peace Corps that focuses on the people he met during his travels in Afghanistan. The exhibition will be on view in the Corn Barn from July 1st through July 31st. On Sunday, July 9th, Philip and his wife, Karla will present the paintings and discuss their experiences in Afghanistan. The presentation will begin at 3:00pm in the Museum’s Corn Barn, 130 River Drive, Hadley, MA 01035.
Philip Grant spent his career in the field of product design and development, specializing in toys and games. He began painting upon his retirement, putting the representational skills he honed as a designer to use for more creative artistic endeavors. The paintings collectively entitled “A Portrait of Afghanistan” were inspired by looking back at the photography work he had done during his stint in the Peace Corps with Karla. The images selected for the exhibition reflect the racial and customary diversity within Afghanistan and the memories the artist has of them. The paintings are oil on linen laminated panels. Grant’s art style born of a combination of influences, primarily the Orientalists and Dutch Masters, as well as modern Photorealism.
Grant has been painting in oil since he was ten years old, but spent time away from the craft while pursuing his education and career. He cites lessons learned from Paul Nonay, Ben Stahl, Jak Kovatch, and John Day, his professors at the University of Bridgeport, as substantial influences to his art style, furthering his familiarity with the oil medium. While at Yale, Grant had the opportunity to expand his knowledge of color dynamics by studying under famed abstract artist, Josef Albers. While Grant’s solo exhibitions generally occur every two to three years, as it takes him some time to paint a fresh body of work. While Grant tends to avoid formal gallery representation of his work, he has had solo exhibitions at the Bing Arts Center in Springfield and the Public Library in Wilbraham. His works have earned him three awards for best in show and two first prizes in the oil painting category from the Monson Arts Council, the Piedmont show, and Agawam’s juried art show. He is also currently preparing to debut an exhibition of paintings depicting wetlands and waterways around where he grew up along the southern Jersey Shore.
Grant is no stranger to the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. For many years he has given performances both solo and with various bands as a part of the museum’s “A Perfect Spot of Tea” Saturday concert series. Grant is a stringed-instrument musician, most recently having played at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum with The Pikeys on the mandolin. This summer, however, Grant plans to focus on his visual art.