Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition · 2014

April 1–30, 2014

Imaginary Reality is the 10th annual Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition at Main Line Art Center and marks an exciting expansion of the program to include the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art. This exhibition coincides with the introduction of our new Digital Media program at Main Line Art Center and provides learning opportunities and interactive experiences for artists and audiences alike.

Imaginary Reality, featuring Nic Coviello, Tim Portlock, and Jennie Thwing, explores the expansion of artistic dialogue yielded by the combination of traditional mediums and digital arts. Trained in the classic artistic mediums, each artist adopted digital technology as a means of deepening their investigations of invented landscapes, imaginary narratives, and personal identity. In essence, they have created unique visual languages that comingle painting, printmaking, digital photography, stop animation video, 3D gaming technology, performance, and installation. Contextualizing digital imagery in service of storytelling and discovery, their work exists in between and among mediums to create new and unexpected realities that challenge our definitions of self, place, and human experience.

Reception: Friday, April 4, 6:30-8:30 pm

Artist Talk and Gallery Tour: Friday, April 4, 5:30-6:30 pm

Associated Programs:

Imaginary Reality: iPainting on the Go Workshop

Nic Coviello | Thurs., April 17, 6-8:30 pm

Member – $35.00 Non-Member – $46.00

Join artist Nic Coviello for a hands-on workshop on how to make art using creative painting apps on your smart tablet or iPad. Learn about the apps that are available and ways to take advantage of this portable technology to expand your creative endeavors. Open to adults and teens.

Technology in Art: Visionary Influence

Tim Portlock | Mon., April 21, 6-7:30 pm

Contemporary art leads the way for innovation and creativity in the worlds of business, design, and popular culture. Join Tim Portlock, whose fine artwork is created using 3D gaming technology, as he discusses how his own work and the landscape of cutting edge digital arts influence today’s commerce and communications. Lecture is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to

Imaginary Reality: Still Animation Workshop

Jenny Thwing | Thurs., April 24, 6-8:30 pm

Member – $35.00 Non-Member – $46.00

Join Philadelphia Artist and Filmmaker Jennie Thwing in the full scale installation of her artwork, My Black Hole, to participate in and contribute to the creative process of creating a short still-animated film. Open to adults and teens.

About the Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition Series

For the past decade, Main Line Art Center has presented an exhibition each spring in memory of Teaching Artist Betsy Meyer featuring the work of forward-thinking artists who are pushing boundaries within their artistic practice. As an artist, Betsy exemplified what is most exciting about engaging with the artwork of living artists: watching them experiment with their media and tackling complicated and tough subjects. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to follow her example and expand their practice into new frontiers. And finally, as a member of the board and exhibition committee, she assured that the Art Center was there for the artistic community of Philadelphia.

Introducing the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art

Imaginary Reality marks an expansion of the program to include the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art, which consists of a solo exhibition and award of $1000 to each selected artist. The growth of this exhibition program is an effort to support the talented contemporary artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, to honor deserving artists in the field, and to encourage excellence and experimentation in artistic practice, presentation, and community involvement. The application period begins April 4 and runs through September 29, 2014. The Art Center is thankful to Betsy Meyer’s family for their generous and unyielding support of the Art Center and Betsy’s artistic legacy and looks forward to granting this new award to artists annually.

About the Artists

Colored with life experiences and the joy of studio practices, Nic Coviello’s goal is to provide the viewer with an alternate narrative on a commonplace subject. Parklands, botanical forms, and animals provide the context for his work. Coviello fuses traditional methods of drawing, painting, and printmaking with photographic and digital imaging techniques to get at an “elusive” real and a “concrete” imagined nature. Appropriating photographic data and explorations in computer graphics complement his field drawing, painting, and collected fragments of nature. Coviello creates background landscapes with painterly techniques and portrays the foreground figures with high-contrast black and white photographic elements. Born in Connecticut, Coviello came to Philadelphia to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he earned coordinated BFA and MFA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He now lives and works in Philadelphia and has exhibited widely at venues including the Philadelphia International Airport, The Painting Center in New York, and the Korean University of the Arts in Seoul, Korea. Coviello taught Digital Design as a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and was an Artist Member and Board Member of the Nexus Foundation for the Arts from 2004 until 2009.

Tim Portlock’s lifelong interest in the dialogue between place and the formation of identity is the fuel behind his creative endeavors. Educated primarily as a traditional visual artist, Portlock has worked in the past as a community-based muralist as well as a studio painter. His current body of work includes large format print images created using 3D gaming technology to simulate real world and imagined spaces based on the Las Vegas strip and surrounding desert. Recent work also includes large, outdoor video projections onto buildings that create temporary public art. Portlock received a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute, an MFA in Art and Design from the University of Chicago, and an MFA in Electronic Visualization from the University of Illinois. Portlock is currently an Associate Professor in the Film and Media Department at Hunter College (CUNY- New York City), and previously worked at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. A 2011 recipient of a Pew Fellowship and the 2012 West Prize, Portlock has exhibited widely throughout the US and internationally including Ars Electronica in Austria, ISEA in Japan, and the Tate Modern as a member of the Artist Collective Vox Populi.

Jennie Thwing is a New York-based artist and film maker. Using video, installation, and animation she creates imaginary narratives that reference her history, ideology, social context, family mythologies, and dreams. Her subject matter ranges from miniature animated dioramas to historical reenactments. All of her work involves the anthropomorphism of nature, refuse, and human environments. Currently an Assistant Professor of Visual Communication at SUNY Farmingdale College as well as an Associate Professor of Art at Rowan University, Thwing received her BFA in Graphic Design at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and went on to receive her MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts at University of Maryland. Her work has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Seattle, the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Fondazion Mudima per l’Arte Contemporarnea in Milan, The Independent Museum of Contemporary Art (IMCA) in Cyprus and the New York Studio Gallery. Thwing was also recently chosen as a Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellow and a 2014 Queens Arts Fund Grant recipient.