November 11, 2023, through April 21, 2024

Scheller Gallery

Angela Fraleigh’s monumental paintings retrieve women from the margins of history, offering alternative, empowering visual narratives. By taking figures and motifs from the art-historical canon and placing them in new, dreamlike environments, she creates space for disruption and agency.

Threaded with moonlight is Fraleigh’s newest body of work, inspired by the Allentown Art Museum’s rich textile holdings and the long history of textiles as a medium associated with female labor. This trio of large-scale paintings and accompanying suite of small works explore spinning, stitching, and weaving as acts of power.

Angela Fraleigh, A thousand years ago tomorrow, 2023, acrylic, watercolor, oil, amethyst, lapis lazuli, hematite, and jade on canvas. © Angela Fraleigh

In these works, Fraleigh centers women as makers with the potential to craft meaning and magic as well as cloth. Her compositions layer global textile designs traditionally used to invite blessings, protection, or abundance—positioning these patterns not only as a complex subversive language, but also as talismanic. Fraleigh’s works also investigate women’s relationships with female deities associated with the textile arts, potent figures who in many cultures also play key roles in creation narratives, life, and death. A site-specific wall treatment inspired by tree-of-life textiles builds on these themes, situating Fraleigh’s paintings in an environment of burgeoning plant and animal life.

The exhibition presents these compelling new works in dialogue with previous work by Fraleigh, as well as a selection of textiles from the Museum collection that inspired the commission.

Threaded with moonlight intertwines traditions from across centuries and cultures, honoring women’s labor and examining the possible communications, intentions, and invocations embedded in their work.

Listen to the artist talk about one of her artworks in the exhibition.

About the artist:

Angela Fraleigh earned her MFA from Yale University School of Art and her BFA from Boston University. Her solo exhibitions include Hirschl and Adler Modern and PPOW Gallery in New York, Inman Gallery in Houston, and Peters Projects in Santa Fe. Fraleigh has created site-specific solo projects for the Edward Hopper House Museum, the Vanderbilt Mansion Museum, the Everson Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. She currently lives and works in New York, NY and Allentown, PA, where she is Full Professor at Moravian University.

 

The presentation of this exhibition at the Allentown Art Museum is supported through the generosity of the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment.

 

Image at top: installation shot of one wall in Threaded with moonlight