On the Scene: Alchemy and Other Magical Thinking Opens at Michael Murphy Gallery (PHOTOS)

Jill Slaymaker’s Alchemy and Other Magical Thinking, a retrospective of paintings and drawings, opened on September 8, at the Michael Murphy Gallery, in South Tampa. The event was attended by over 160 people.

A New York City-based artist who exhibits and lectures, internationally, Slaymaker’s first career retrospective will run through October 6 and opened with 88 pieces. It features her work from 1985 to 2023, including creations in oil, gouache, vinyl, watercolor, pastel and acrylic, India ink and acrylic text collages.

Commenting on the event, Slaymaker says, “I am impressed with the way Michael Murphy thoughtfully curated, organized, framed and hung the show, as if it were a museum. He exhibited the works chronologically and by theme. Michael is an excellent curator and was dealing with many styles and decades in the show. He asked me questions for hours, to really understand my art before mounting the exhibit. And of course, the framing is beautiful, since (I am told) he owns the best frame shop in Tampa.”

Explaining why the retrospective spanned 1985-2023, she shares:

“I chose the years 1985-2023 because I had a few large works on paper beginning in 1985, made three years after I moved to Manhattan. The show is a retrospective, spanning 38 years. Several works are autobiographical, painted on top of my journal pages, mounted on wood, with India ink, acrylic and in one case, white glitter, to create a twinkling effect.”

She continues, “People at the opening were enthusiastic and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the work. Seven pieces were sold then, and I was offered a commission for a painting for a home being built in Barbados. All very exciting.”

Exhibited nationally, and internationally, Slaymaker’s work has been presented at the Tate Modern, London, Dabawenyo Museum, Philippines and Blum Helman, Pierogi and Arena Gal and Kustera Projects, in New York City, and more.

Among her 14 solo exhibition locations are The Nabi Museum of the Arts, in New Jersey, and the Davis Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art, in Barcelona, Spain.

“Rather than fixating on a mere selection, the challenge lies in comprehending the intricate tapestry woven over 38 years of artistic labor,” says Michael Murphy. “Seldom do we witness the unfolding of an artist’s creative journey with such transparency.”

Slaymaker’s exhibit can be viewed Tuesdays through Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., from September 8 through October 6. Michael Murphy Gallery is located at 2701 South MacDill Avenue in Tampa.

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