Visions of Venus
Curated by Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt
April 20th - June 8th
Second Floor Exhibition Space
Jason E. McPhillips - The Anadyomene (The Rising)
Throughout history, Venus has stood as the great archetype of love, beauty, enticement, seduction, sexuality, eroticism, fertility, desire and prosperity. As the goddess of love, she was seen as having blessed the unions of mortals by taming and assimilating the male essence and blending it with the female. As a fertility symbol, she was revered as the mother of the Roman people. As a “changer of hearts,” she was seen as a transformative force that encouraged her followers to cherish their sexuality and celebrate it in the context of love, marriage and family. In yet another incarnation, she was seen as the motivator of women on behalf of the military and the state. In all of her aspirations and intents, she is still perceived today as the embodiment of all things feminine and the complementary opposite of her male cognate, Mars. Venus, whether in a contemporary or classical incarnation, represents the female way of being, seeing and creating.
Dr. Elaine Melotti Schmidt is the co-curator of The Bennett Collection, a collection of contemporary figurative realist paintings of women that she co-created with her collaborator and spouse, Steven Alan Bennett. She is a student of classical mythology and well-known presence among collectors of figurative realist paintings.