On View

Foster Reeve plaster cast

Translating Tradition

April 29, 2021 – August 1, 2021

For thousands of years, plaster has attracted artists through its remarkable versatility. Created from ground or powdered limestone mixed with water, plaster was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Poured into molds, it can replicate three-dimensional objects. The versatility of the medium has attracted artists, architects, and designers for its ability to easily add to or take away. This exhibition features work from CAM’s permanent collection as well as the work of renowned master Foster Reeve. Translating Tradition features work on loan from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Foster Reeve, Bellamy Mansion and from CAM’s permanent collection.

Structure in Bloom images

Structure in Bloom

April 21, 2021 – September 26, 2021

Compass, CAM’s upper level giving society, meets annually to select new acquisitions for the museum’s growing collection. This exhibition presents the work acquired thanks to Compass over the past five years, including work by John Cage, Diego Camposeco, Phil Freelon, Jaydan Moore, Lien Truong, Burk Uzzle, and Fred Wilson

David Hockney (British, 1937), The Wave, 1990, color lithograph. Gift of the estate of Louis Belden. © David Hockney / Tyler Graphics Ltd.

Another Look -- The Eye Learns: Modernist prints from
the Louis Belden Collection

March 25 – August 1, 2021

Image of Louis de. K Belden

Click image for access to a video interview with Louis Belden

The critical eye, you don’t have it initially. The eye learns from experience and it takes time. - Louis Belden

In 1992, Louis de. K Belden (1926-2017) came to the realization if he wanted to continue collecting art, he would need a stronger focus to become a true collector. He shared his internal conversation with himself, “Look, if you are going to do this, you have to do it with a purpose, not just go around buying anything you see but to have boundaries, and my boundaries became prints - American and European, which dated from 1965 on.” His three criteria – medium, geographic region and period of time—framed the boundaries Belden placed on his practice of collecting, offering a boundless range of expression, experimentation and expansion of the terrain of postwar modernism.

This new exhibition of work from Belden’s collection reads like a who’s who of modernist and postmodernist prints and includes work by Judy Chicago, Richard Diebenkorn, Sonia Delaunay, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Robert Mangold, Kasimir Malevich, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella, among others.

Art is not stagnant. It grows and grows and grows. There will be new trends, some of which will be successful and some will not be and I have no idea what those trends will be. But it is exciting to wait around and see what does evolve. Certainly I have evolved in the last 20 years and plan to continue to evolve in the future.

Elizabeth Bradford (American, 1950) New Year, Stone Mountain, 2020, acrylic on canvas. Collection of Fan and Skipper Smith.

A House of One Room: Elizabeth Bradford

March 12 – October 17, 2021

How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make – leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents and piled stones – we all dwell in a house of one room – the world with the firmament for its roof – and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track. John Muir (Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938, p. 321)

Elizabeth Bradford’s masterful paintings originate from an intimate observation and profound reverence for the natural environment. These selections offer an invitation to share Bradford’s journey as she explores the wonder of the natural world. The reverence she has for the environment and all of its inhabitants, can inspire a deeper awareness of our interconnectedness and responsibility for its preservation and survival. This exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous underwriting of the Wells Fargo Foundation. Wells Fargo is proud to support access to arts experiences and advocate for environmental preservation.

Wells Fargo Logo

Robert Johnson (American, b. 1944), Lake Waccamaw State Park, 2019, acrylic and oil canvas. On loan from Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC

Safe Places: Robert Johnson

February 7, 2021 – August 1, 2021

It is as if artist Robert Johnson was experiencing the longing for safety amidst the current pandemic when titling his major body of work, Safe Places. In truth, Johnson started this ambitious project three years ago, with the objective to reside and work on site in all 41 North Carolina State Parks. This exhibition premieres more than 80 artworks realized through the artist’s vulnerable investigations. Opening himself to the environment, he shares, “Recording the mood of a landscape is just as important as recording what I see.”

This visual storyteller has chronicled the natural world on three continents in pencil, acrylic, and gouache on paper and canvas for over 40 years. His work echoes influences from late medieval Italian, American Folk, Indian Miniature, Tibetan Thangka, and Balinese painting traditions. Besides large-scale paintings, Safe Places includes his journal and notebook pages: intimate, annotated field observations of plants, birds, along with notes to himself. Johnson reflects, “I hope people seeing Safe Places will understand what an ecologically diverse state we live in. I hope they will feel inspired to go hike the trails in our parks with an observant eye. The more people get out to see the beauty of these areas the more they are likely to care for state parks and will want to preserve what is left of the natural environment.”

Exhibition sponsored in part by:

Blue Spiral 1 Gallery

While You're Here..

  • Stroll through the ART PARK with sculptures by Charlie Brouwer, Clyde Jones, Vollis Simpson, Mel Chin and Dixon Stetler located throughout.

  • Take an up close look at Cameron Art Museum's whirly-gig by Vollis Simpson.

  • Visit the historic Forks Road Civil War Site. Walk along the only remaining vestige of historic Federal Point Road, the primary thoroughfare in the 1860s from Fort Fisher to Wilmington. See a reconstruction of the Confederate revetments which originally spanned a course of five miles from the Cape Fear River to present-day Hugh MacRae Park. On the NC Civil War Trails marker, read about the Forks Road battle on February 20-12, 1865 fought victoriously by 1600 United States Colored Troops, contributing to the Fall of Wilmington on February 22, 1865.

  • Enjoy a stroll along the pond and through the NATURE TRAILS located on the 9.3 acres of the museum campus. The trail winds its way from the museum front door north to our historic woodlands. On the trail you will observe native plant and animal life. Also walk along the FRUIT GROVE planted in 2011 in honor of Paul W. Phillips, CAM's Senior Security Guard. The orchard contains white and black muscadine grapes, peach, pear, fig, apple, plum and blueberry plantings.

  • PICNIC AREAS located throughout Pyramid Park. Ride your bike over to the museum and grab lunch at CAM Cafe to enjoy at the picnic tables.