Meet the Wind Challenge 1 Artists

Established in 1978, the Wind Challenge Exhibition Series is an annual juried competition that is committed to enriching and expanding people’s lives through art. Multiple Wind Challenge Exhibitions are held at Fleisher from September through May, featuring the work of exceptional artists living in the Philadelphia region. Opening September 2, 2016, Wind Challenge 1 features new work by Amber Johnston, Michelle Marcuse, and Brian Richmond. The exhibition will remain on view through Friday, November 11, 2016.

The Wind Challenge Exhibition Series is made possible with thanks to generous support from the Wind Foundation and Fleisher members.

 About the Artists


Amber Johnston grew up in Lexington, KY, and now lives and works in Philadelphia. She received her BFA in ceramics at the University of the Arts and her MFA in Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology. Through her photography and video installations, which have been shown internationally, Johnston examines the human condition. In the exhibition Johnston’s video installation Digital Connection employs screen technology to explore the lack of physical intimacy humans experience in a digital age. The installation questions if we, as a society, are forgetting how to express feelings of love and if a lack of connection can be filled by technology.

Signs of Compromise view 1_2016

Michelle Marcuse was raised in South Africa during the apartheid era. Though her childhood – full of creative play with elaborate tales and make-believe worlds – seemed idyllic, apartheid’s presence always loomed. Now a Philadelphia resident and a graduate of the Tyler School of Art, Marcuse’s sculptural constructions evoke imaginary worlds of fairytales, utopias and dystopias, which fluctuate between playfulness and darkness. Marcuse’s work has been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions and she continues to teach encaustic painting techniques through a series of classes and workshops.


Philadelphia-based painter Brian Richmond creates painstakingly precise three-dimensional paintings of trash. A graduate of Lancaster’s Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, his series Trash Pile focuses on the pervasive commercialization of our landscape, while providing documentation of ubiquitous roadside trash. Nearly the entire work on view in the exhibition was sculpted with paper and painted by hand.


Public Events
Families are invited to meet the artists and hear them discuss their work at the exhibition’s Family Talk-About Saturday, September 24, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Additional artist-led public events, which are free and open to the public, will be announced shortly and details will be available on Fleisher’s calendar of events.


Pictured, from top: Michelle Marcuse, Shadow Overcoming Memory, 2016; Amber Johnston, installation view of Digital Connection, 2016; Michelle Marcuse, Signs of Compromise, 2016; Brian Richmond, Wawa Coffee, Marlboro Red Cigarette Pack, Marlboro Gold Cigarette Butts, Parliament Cigarette Butts, Marlboro Red Cigarette Butts, Newport Cigarette Butts, Various Plastic Pieces, 2014-2015, from the series Trash Pile.

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