Posted by: Leslie | March 1, 2010

the art of Adelaide Paul

This post has nothing to do about knitting, spinning, sustainability or any of the other topics I usually write about. Instead, I’d like to share with you the art of Adelaide Paul, an artist from Philadelphia. What makes Adelaide’s art so compelling for me is not only her obvious talent in her chosen media but her experience as a veterinary anatomy instructor which clearly informs her artwork. I had the real pleasure of having Adelaide help teach my anatomy lab when I was in vet school, back when my career trajectory was headed into veterinary medicine instead of its human equivalent. I found Adelaide an interesting, thoughtful, and unusual woman when I first met her, and enjoyed interacting with someone whose background wasn’t limited to science and medicine. I remember one afternoon with her in the lab, working through the biomechanics of the ligaments in the equine hindlimb while she told me about her idea for a course at the school on the philosophy of our consumption of animals — everything from euphemistic names for meat (e.g., “beef” instead of “cow muscle”) to the selective breeding of pets to ever more bizarre and unhealthy extremes.

When I discovered Adelaide’s work as a sculptor, I was deeply impressed. Her pieces are beautiful and often disturbing as well, the precision of the anatomy making the animals she depicts unsettlingly real even as they occupy forms that are physically impossible.

The real reason for this post is to let anyone in the Philly area know that Adelaide has an upcoming vernissage* at the Wexler Gallery on March 5, with all the details here. I wish I could be there myself but I hope others will be able to check it out.

*It was through another anatomy lab conversation that I learned that “vernissage” isn’t used in the US. “Art opening reception” just doesn’t sound as good to me.

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