Science and History

More than meets the eye... by Jeannine Cook

An exhibition of contemporary silverpoint drawings, The Luster of Silver, opens this weekend at the Evansville Museum of Arts, Science and History, in Evansville, Indiana. It will be of particular interest to me not only because my work is included, but because I helped curate it from digital images, along with fellow artist, Koo Schadler, and the Museum staff.

Assessing art from digital images has become much easier in recent times. However, because silverpoint drawings, with marks made in silver that are often faint and delicate, are very difficult to reproduce satisfactorily, even digital images are possibly not doing justice to the work. Consequently, it will be most interesting to see the actual work of the twenty-seven eminent artists included in the exhibition. I also wonder if digital images, generally, have the impact and veracity to allow us to delve deeply into the artworks involved.

When one is standing in front of a painting or a drawing, there is a potential dialogue that draws one in.... you can look closely at the brush strokes of paint, how the artist has handled the pen or pencil or silver stylus. You can let the artwork talk, loudly or in a whisper, of many things , as you stand before it. I am not sure that digital images have the same power. In a gallery or, in this case, in a museum, a silverpoint is a lustrous, shimmering drawing, full of life and contrasts. It can hint at things beyond the here and now, and push us to new ways of thinking. Thus I am eager to see if the show we selected for Evansville will allow us to consider dimensions and aspects of life that are really "more than meets the eye".