"Binding Ties" by Michelle Marcuse
Throughout her 2023 artist residency at Park Towne Place, Philadelphia-based artist Michelle Marcuse created a new body of work, resulting in this exhibition, aptly
titled Binding Ties. Originating from South Africa, Marcuse's studio practice investigates the concept of our intricate relationship between identity, history, and our shared human experience amidst a "melting pot" of cultures. With an ever-curious exploration, Marcuse utilized wire, string, and raffia to create the included works. Binding Ties pushes the boundaries of her creative practice as she interweaves traditional craft techniques with her aesthetic sensibilities. Each meticulously crafted composition serves as a conduit for unearthing the interconnectedness of our humanity. In an era defined by increasing divisions, Marcuse's artistic journey reevaluates the importance of art in fostering empathy as she reflects on her own heritage and the power of art to transcend time and place.
About the Artist
Michelle Marcuse moved to Philadelphia from South Africa in 1984. She received a Bachelor of Design at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel . Michelle returned to South Africa to study at The Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, traveling in 1984 to Philadelphia, PA to Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Philadelphia to complete her BFA . Career highlights includes exhibitions with BLAM Projects Brooklyn, NY , Arte y Amor at Taller Boricua, NYC  and Borderless Caribbean [The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Miami, FL 2015]. Marcuse is a recipient of the Wind Challenge exhibition [2016.] In December 2018 she was invited to Against Gravity: TECTONICS - Imagined Spaces, organized by DORAL Contemporary Art Museum, FL. She has exhibited at various Philadelphia art spaces, including Grizzly Grizzly artist collective; EY – INTUITIVE Art Space in Manayunk, The List Gallery, Swarthmore College, PA; and at The Philadelphia International Airport. She was a Joan Mitchell fellowship finalist in 2021. Michelle recently completed a two year Fellowship with CFEVA’s Visual Artist program. Her work can be found in public and private collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Park Towne Place Artist in Residence (PTPAIR) program provides an opportunity for visual artists to bring their studio practice to Philadelphia’s museum district. Over the four month residency, selected artists will be able to create, advance, or complete work in close proximity to one of Philadelphia's art hubs. The PTPAIR program offers artists the space and freedom to experiment with their practice in a new environment. Artists are encouraged to explore new ideas and find inspiration from a change in scenery. As they create, PTPAIRs are encouraged to engage with the Park Towne Place community. This is a chance for dialogue and education as well as a competitive opportunity for artists to meet potential new connections and collectors.