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Online exhibitions spotlight groundbreaking artists from America's oldest active arts colony
William Freed, Still Life with Red Background, 1955.

NEW YORK, NY.- Building on its mission to preserve, showcase, and promote the work of artists who died without recognition of their full talent, POBA | Where the Arts Live has partnered with the Provincetown Art Association and Museum to posthumously celebrate artists from America’s oldest active arts colony, with the first-ever online exhibition of work by abstract expressionists Lillian Orlowsky(1914-2008) and William Freed (1928 – 1984).

Officially launched in July 2014, POBA is a program of the James Kirk Bernard Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to honor the artistic interests of Jamie Bernard, a young writer and artist (1987- 2010). POBA empowers families, estates, publishers, and representatives to preserve a deceased artist’s creative legacy and make it accessible for new audiences to discover and experience their work. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this October, PAAM is a nationally recognized cultural institution that fuses the creative energy of America’s oldest active art colony with the natural beauty of outer Cape Cod that has inspired artists for generations.

Under the partnership, POBA will present a series of exhibitions and live stream events showcasing PAAM artists over the next year. According to POBA spokeswoman Jennifer Cohen, the organizations chose to inaugurate the partnership with the Orlowsky and Freed exhibitions because both artists passionately believed in supporting under-appreciated artists. She pointed to The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant, an annual award made possible through an endowment to PAAM, which brings attention to mature artists who deserve wider recognition but demonstrate financial need in the pursuit of their art.

For more than fifty years, Orlowsky and Freed shared their lives as artistic peers, friends, and then as a married couple at the forefront of the abstract expressionist movement in Provincetown and New York City. Having met while waiting in line to pick up their paychecks from the Works Project Administration, the Depression-era federal project that transformed American art in public spaces, Orlowsky and Freed studied under the influential Hans Hofmann. Together, they helped shape a significant chapter of art history - the dramatic arc from realism to abstraction - with other great Provincetown artists such as Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Sam Feinstein and Jackson Pollock. (See full bios of Orlowsky and Freed below.)

“We are thrilled to partner with an organization like the Provincetown Art Association and Museum that shares our dedication to keeping the creative works of deceased artists alive,” said Jennifer Cohen, managing partner of Songmasters, which designed and developed POBA. “As a place of unparalleled community, beauty, and inspiration, Provincetown and the Outer Cape are home to an extraordinary roster of remarkable artists. We are looking forward to introducing them to a wider, global audience through POBA.”

“For 100 years Provincetown Art Association and Museum has been committed to bringing public attention to artists of extraordinary talent,” said Chris McCarthy, executive director, PAAM. “Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed lived and breathed their work as working artists, PAAM members, and instructors, and are true examples of the what it means to be dedicated to the craft. We’re grateful to POBA for creating a platform to further expose these important, under-recognized artists.”

Taking its name from the phonetic pronunciation of the Tibetan word "phowa," which refers to the transfer of consciousness at death to a new life, POBA worked with many families as well as leading institutions and galleries, such as the American Ballet Theater and The Berta Walker Gallery, to launch last month with galleries by artists both famous and lesser known – from author Norman Mailer’s rarely seen Picasso-inspired drawings to the performances and choreography of American Ballet Theatre wunderkind Clark Tippet to the recently discovered music demos by Badfinger’sPete Ham and Tom Evans, whose song "Baby Blue" in last year’s Breaking Bad finale introduced the band to a new generation of fans.

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