Four Artists: Moving through Abstraction, Annapolis 1950s to 1990s | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Four Artists: Moving through Abstraction, Annapolis 1950s to 1990s

Chaney Gallery, 2nd floor

Reception on Thursday, September 19 from 5:30 - 7 pm.

Purchase an exhibit catalog HERE.  


Four Artists showcases the avant-garde work of Michel Freinek, Esther Levy, Virginia Ochs, and Missy Weems, four women living and painting in Annapolis, Maryland during the period 1950 to 1990. All came of age in World War II, emerging as artists in constant relationship with European and American modern art at a time of social change. These four women, while maintaining their own individual painting styles, influenced and supported each other, learning and exhibiting together in Annapolis and the Baltimore/Washington vicinity. In the act of expression, creating groundbreaking works, these artists reinterpreted and personalized their environment in the context of an art world that was overwhelmingly male.

The artists grappled with rhythm and energy through oil on canvas, often evoking an almost musical quality. The work is edgy, lavish, experimental and often abstracted. Each artist confronted non-traditional space considerations, flattening picture planes and demonstrating dimensions through color and tonality. The works collected in this exhibit maintain their glow and vitality, the artists’ innovative viewpoints extending through the post-war decades as if to say: “Here is how we have seen the world, in all its color and complexity.” Their views still resonate today, and new generations experiencing this work will see and feel the expression of women who charted their own paths and demonstrated new ways of interpreting the world.

The Exhibition Four Artists: Moving Through Abstraction, Annapolis 1950-1990 will incorporate from 4 to 8 oil paintings from each artist, resulting in an exhibition of approximately 25 to 30 works, large and small. Text and photo panels will contain short biographies of the artists and relate the paintings to the culture of 2019.


Missy Weems, Color Study, 1960, Collection of Thackray Weems Dodds Seznec


Gwen Manseau, Gwen is the Founder and Director of Fox Road Productions, a non-profit media and publishing company focused on bringing local Annapolis art and history to light. She is a lawyer by training, and has worked in the federal government, for non-profit organizations, and at several start-up Internet companies.

Thackray Seznec, Thackray is an Annapolis artist whose work has been exhibited internationally and regionally. She studied at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland; the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut; and, while living in the Middle East, with Rahim Sharif in Bahrain. Thackray works in a barn studio, pursuing her art inspired by the woods and fields of her family farm.

Sigrid Trumpy, Sigrid Trumpy has worked as Curator of Prints at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Exhibitions Installer at the Mitchell Gallery, St. Johns College, Director of Exhibits at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts (’08-’17), and most recently as studio manager at Castle Hill Center for the Arts in Truro, Massachusetts. Sigrid received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in painting where she studied with Raoul Middleman and Peter Hooven, and her MFA from Pratt Institute in printmaking, where she studied with Walter Rogalski and George McNeil. She is currently pursuing her artwork while freelance curating.