Exhibit Dramatically Delineates Artist’s Despondency, Rebirth

Before and After,” demarcating an artistic vision altered by the prism of despair, officially opened Thursday in The Gallery at Penn College. The free exhibit features the work of Ned Martin − work that is physically and figuratively separated by the stark stylistic shift that followed the death of Martin’s wife, Renee. Hours for the exhibit, which continues through June 29, are 1-4 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The gallery, on the third floor of the college’s Madigan Library, is closed Saturdays and Mondays.

− Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

The gallery's spatial layout follows the exhibit's symbolic dividing line.

The gallery’s spatial layout follows the exhibit’s symbolic dividing line.

New York City artist Ned Martin engages the opening-night crowd.

New York City artist Ned Martin engages the opening-night crowd.

Green leaves, peppers and glasses are among the "Before" works.

Green leaves, peppers and glasses are among the “Before” works.

Realistic paintings representing Martin's "Before" period begin the exhibit and lead visitors through distinct sections of artwork.

Realistic paintings representing Martin’s “Before” period begin the exhibit and lead visitors through distinct sections of artwork.

The detail of a wasp, also among the earlier pieces

The detail of a wasp, also among the earlier pieces

A multimedia experience, including a video in which the artist explains the blur of grief, immerses gallerygoers.

A multimedia experience, including a video in which the artist explains the blur of grief, immerses gallerygoers.

More than 100 attendees listen to Martin's emotional and empowering gallery talk.

More than 100 attendees listen to Martin’s emotional and empowering gallery talk.

"Apple Fractals" engage viewers in the "After" section, which, like the "Before" paintings, notes the artist's Feb. 17, 2013, turning point.

“Apple Fractals” engage viewers in the “After” section, which, like the “Before” paintings, notes the artist’s Feb. 17, 2013, turning point.

Gallery guests in the "After" section

Gallery guests in the “After” section

Family members congratulate Martin's son, Scott; he and his wife are expecting a child (the artist's first grandchild) later this year.

Family members congratulate Martin’s son, Scott; he and his wife are expecting a child (the artist’s first grandchild) later this year.

A visitor inspects Martin's newer oils.

A visitor inspects Martin’s newer oils.

The large "After" section is filled with abstract oil paintings created on recycled aluminum printing plates.

A large “After” section is filled with abstract oil paintings created on recycled aluminum printing plates.

More works from the "After" collection

More works from the “After” collection

Holding messages from a prior purpose, recycled metal printing plates offer an extra layer of intrigue.

Holding messages from a prior purpose, recycled metal printing plates offer an extra layer of intrigue.

A relative of Martin's late wife reflects on a powerful painting.

A relative of Martin’s late wife reflects on a powerful painting.