For the first time in its illustrious history, The Barnes Foundation launched an open call for artists in Philadelphia entitled “Let’s Connect”, collaboration with Mural Arts. Artists living or working in Philadelphia were invited to submit a work inspired by a piece in the Barnes collection. Over 1,200 Philadelphia artists applied and 310 completed works were submitted to the jury and were on display at the museum. The jurying was done through a formula in which the general public and a team of 75 curators cast their votes to select four winners. The winners would get an artist residency at the celebrated museum's Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. One of the chosen winners, Eric Goldberg, a Philadelphia-based printmaker and painter will be having a residency at the Barnes from January 1st 2019 to March 31st. Goldberg will be working on both his etchings and paintings during his residency. The public will be invited to his printing sessions where he will be explaining the etcher’s methods of image making. Hewill also be demonstrating the printing of etchings on the press, which will be installed in the Barnes Studio during his residency.
Goldberg’s statement, which accompanied his painting states:
Each time I visit The Barnes Collection, I find myself gravitating to the Vincent Van Gogh painting The Postman. Initially I thought it was the hypnotic stare of the subject that so strongly attracted me, but I now know it is more. Van Gogh has not simply painted an imitation of Joseph Roulin’s appearance; he has expressed the man’s character, his inner being. Van Gogh has depicted Joseph Roulin as a person of wisdom and integrity, a person of great strength of character who exudes both intelligence and warmth.
I am a fortunate man. I too have a postal carrier who possesses the attributes that Van Gogh expressed in his portrait of Joseph Roulin. Barbara Jean Griffin has been delivering my mail since I moved to my present address in 2012. Her open, friendly disposition was apparent from our first meeting. In the years I have known her, she has proven to be a person of genuine warmth, intelligence, integrity and wisdom. It was an honor to have her sit for me.