Skip to main content

Graphic Digital Art at Penn College Explores Richness of the Psyche

A mental health counselor-turned-artist brings his unique perspective to The Gallery at Penn College with an exhibit of contemporary digital compositions running July 9 through Aug. 9.

Daryl Thetford’s “The Struggle to Evolve Before the End of Time” explores humans’ external and internal information overload and chaos, and attempts to offer a visual dialogue that will advance individual perspective rather than alienate.

A Meet the Artist Reception is set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9, featuring a 5:30 p.m. gallery talk. The reception and exhibit are open to the public and free of charge.

“Man at Crossroads,” digital media, 52 x 36 inches
“Man at Crossroads,” digital media, 52 x 36 inches

Thetford’s graphic digital art starts with a single, original photographic image followed by an extensive digital layering and altering process; often, 75 or more photographs are used in a single piece.

A native of rural Tennessee, the artist earned a graduate degree in counseling from Murray State University and worked as a vocational program director, mental health center manager and a therapist before returning to his first love – art. His experience in the psychology of behavior and emotion has flowed neatly into his artistic process, resulting in a compelling body of photo collage work that is informed by the richness of the psyche.

“News, email, weather updates, images of war, social networking pages, and stories of loss, hunger, and natural and man-made disasters are delivered to our computers and phones night and day,” said Thetford. “These are the external things, the information, data and titillating images that impinge on our senses, demanding our attention in a hundred different ways.

“Tea With Mara,” digital media, 36 x 54 inches
“Tea With Mara,” digital media, 36 x 54 inches

“And we are bombarded from within as well, by our own unremitting thought cycles: a constant loop of hopes and fears, dreams and worries. … It is this very angst which further impacts the quality and future of our relationships, our health, the health of those we care about.”

Thetford says he initially thought “The Struggle to Evolve Before the End of Time” series would be a linear progression depicting man’s struggle, pain and search for resolution, but he realized that search “does not progress in a linear fashion, but rather is something more akin to poetry, with bits and pieces woven together to create moments of wonder, insights, resolution and pain.”

The Gallery at Penn College is on the third floor of Penn College’s Madigan Library. The gallery’s summer exhibit hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. (closed Saturdays and Mondays).

In addition to serving as an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community, the gallery is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Subscribe to PCToday Daily Email