ERGO SUM: A CROW A DAY
June 19 – September 6, 2021
The James Museum presents Ergo Sum: A Crow a Day, an exhibition featuring 365 original works of art by Canadian-born artist Karen Bondarchuk. In 2014, Bondarchuk set out to mark the passing time that her mother – diagnosed with dementia in 2010 – no longer could. For 365 days, she produced a crow a day on a small hand-cut panel, remembering her mother as she once was and grieving her loss. The resulting body of work explores communication and an artist’s relationship to the world; it resonates for its depth, beauty, and whimsy.
While select imagery references personal history, the panels relate to universal emotions and sentiments. Bondarchuk chose playful, intelligent, and enigmatic crows and ravens to animate her series. Situating them in ways emblematic of the human condition, they stride and swagger, perch and cling, float and dive, converse and proclaim. Set against splashes and swipes of color, the birds’ gestures range from bold to inquisitive to quirky. Though Bondarchuk’s motivation to create the works was a loss, each panel brims with energy, personality, and expression. “The series is simultaneously a marker of my mother’s lost time and a constant reminder of my own days, my life, and an attempt to signal visually the preciousness and individuality of each day,” she said.
“Bondarchuk’s series is a touching tribute that reminds us that time is fleeting and beautiful,” said Emily Kapes, Curator of Art at The James Museum. “I think this exhibition will resonate with anyone who has experienced the decline or loss of a loved one.”
Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and Bayfront Health St. Petersburg Foundation, and Exhibit Gold Patron, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute.
Member Virtual Reception
Join us for an exclusive virtual member-only reception of Ergo Sum: A Crow A Day on June 17 at 6PM. Learn more about the exhibition from Emily Kapes, Curator of Art and hear from featured speaker Carlen Maddux, career journalist and local St. Petersburg resident.
In Maddux’s Best Selling book A Path Revealed: How Hope, Love and Joy Found Us Deep in a Maze Called Alzheimer’s he describes the journey he and his late wife Martha traveled the last 17 years of their life together. Just days after turning 50 years old, Martha, a spirited mother and civic activist, was told she has Alzheimer’s disease. In Carlen’s words, Martha’s diagnosis and the following years is “The story of a path emerging during our darkest hours, a path that we neither planned, nor foresaw.”
Special member only gift boxes customized for the exhibit will be available to be picked up at the museum beginning Friday, June 11th. Each box will contain snacks, drinks, and a commemorative gift.
To receive a box, you must register by June 4th. First 100 to sign up will receive a box. Gift boxes must be picked up by June 17th.
Members of The James Museum are invited to preview Ergo Sum: A Crow A Day on Friday, June 18th.
Dates and Times
Thursday, June 17, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Friday, June 18, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(No registration required)
Image and Exhibition Credits
This exhibition is organized by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, WI
All works by Karen Bondarchuck, 2014—2015
From the collection of the artist