Harcum Gallery to Present 'Aesop's Fables by Thorngren'

Artist's Large Acrylics Depict Ancient Greek Storyteller's Timeless Fables

October 14, 2013

"The Monkey King" Acrylic on canvas, 36x36

Wilmington College’s Harcum Art Gallery will feature an exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Mary Beth Thorngren Oct. 24 through Dec. 14.

The artist will be honored at an opening reception Oct. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the gallery located in the Boyd Cultural Arts Center, College and Douglas streets. Normal gallery hours are weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by special appointment arranged by curator Hal Shunk, professor of art.

As a child, stories by Aesop fascinated Thorngren. The legendary Greek storyteller’s collection of more than 600 fables, including The Tortoise and the Hare, has stood the test of time. These stories translated from the oral tradition inspired her latest offering of art.

“Through the use of mostly animal protagonists, Aesop’s fables consist of simple tales with moral endings transcending time and place, so to be as relevant today as they were in their inception,”

Thorngren said. “Both timeless and universally popular, they still inspire many contemporary stories, plays, and movies.”

These twelve paintings in the exhibit are large-scale acrylic on canvas, four of which contain sculptural elements.

“They are designed not only to appeal to the aesthetic senses, but the mind as well; to entertain, as well as educate,” she said while crediting her sculpture instructor, Jeff T. Becker, as being “instrumental” in the creation of those elements, created over a period of several months.

Thorngren noted she began painting at the “precocious age” of three, and continues to use her first easel to this day. Her love for animals, color and storytelling makes this collection of the fables of Aesop a natural fit.

She is a graduate of East Texas State University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1989, which included a semester of watercolor at the University of London.

Thorngren’s art is represented by Denver Art Company, The Art Source of Denver, Corporate Portfolio in Grand Rapids and by publisher Winn Devon in Seattle. Her work is sold globally.