Julianna Foster, Sharka Hyland, John Karpinski, and Martha Rich

If on a winter’s night a traveler, June 2015

Grizzly Grizzly is excited to announce its upcoming June exhibition, 'If on a winter's night a traveler’, a show of Philadelphia artists Julianna Foster, Sharka Hyland, John Karpinski, and Martha Rich. The show brings together four artists from different fields, exploring the connection between narrative and image in innovative ways. With works rooted in comics, graphic design, illustration, and photography, the show investigates the potential of storytelling to inspire creativity across disciplines.

Just as Calvino’s novel 'If on a winter's night a traveler’ alternates between various narrative voices and genres, the artists in this show approach the concept of narrative from divergent points of view. Hyland appropriates the writer’s language to render the images Calvino conjured up in words as pencil-drawn text. Conversely, Karpinski’s beautifully painted graphic novel, Death Defying, is an entirely personal narrative, in part inspired by the characters he has encountered over years working in social services. Foster and Rich’s works both take inspiration from stories told or overheard by others. Foster filters and reimagines an urban legend through ethereal, ambiguous photographs, while Rich’s densely packed illustrations are an attempt to unify her eavesdropping and observations of strangers during her travels.

Artist Bios

Julianna Foster lives in Philadelphia and teaches at The University of the Arts in the Photography Program and MFA Book Arts and Printmaking Department, where she received her MFA in 2006. Foster was an artist member of Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia from 2006-2013. In addition to her individual ventures, she has collaborated over the years with various artists on projects that include artist multiples, artist books, and series of photographs and videos. Foster was a 2014 Artist in Residence at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. She has participated in international group exhibitions in England, Romania, Spain, and, most recently, Korea and Bulgaria, and her work is featured in private collections across the country.

Sharka Hyland grew up in Czechoslovakia. In 1984 she moved to the USA. She studied comparative literature and history of art before receiving her MFA in graphic design from Yale School of Art. Currently, Ms Hyland lives in Philadelphia and teaches in the Departments of Fine Arts and of Visual Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her drawings of ekphrastic texts have been exhibited both in the U.S. (Philadelphia, New York and Dallas, Texas) as well as in Paris and Berlin. 

John Karpinski has been experimenting with comics since 2001. Karpinski completed the Center For Emerging Visual Artists Career Development Fellowship in 2009. He has had the opportunity to exhibit his work in a variety of venues including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Maryland Art Place, and The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Currently, Karpinski is working on an ongoing narrative work, Death Defying.

Martha Rich straddles the fine art and commercial art worlds, most recently with a solo show in Mexico City. Her commercial clients include Blue Q, Chronicle Books, Rolling Stone, Penguin UK, McSweeney’s, Portland Mercury, The Village Voice, Bon Appetit, San Francisco Chronicle, and Country Music TV to name just a few. A book, Sketchbook Expressionism, featuring artwork from her sketchbooks was published by Murphy Design. She is currently living in her hometown of Philadelphia and recently received her MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania. Rich teaches at Tyler School of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC..