Baltimore artist Amanda Burnham inaugurates the newly renovated Baldeck/Hollis Gallery with In the Weeds, an immersive drawing installation of fragmented landscapes inspired by the built environments of Collegeville, Phoenixville, and the Route 29 corridor between them.
Using quick, gestural brushstrokes and black acrylic paint, Burnham sketches the welcoming stoops and wrought iron fences, the enthusiastic signage and still-empty storefronts that give each borough its distinctive character. Narrative details abound in her works, which—as the artist herself puts it—“ambiguously straddle the observed and the invented as a way of achieving greater emotional nuance.”
Amanda Burnham started her newly commissioned work for the Berman Museum by exploring the Ursinus College campus and its neighboring towns, taking hundreds of photographs to serve as source material for her later drawings. In the Weeds includes sketches of buildings, roads, and vistas painted directly on the walls of the gallery, collaged with cut-out drawings made on paper prepared with riotous swathes of color. The multilayered, densely-packed imagery seems to unfold before the viewers’ eyes, mimicking the construction sites and renovation projects that can transform neighborhoods overnight. With its fluid lines and dynamic energy, Burnham’s work echoes the improvisation of urban life and the collective efforts that come together to shape and reshape the spaces of communities.