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Kansas City-Based Artist Exhibits Drawings, Paintings at Gallery

“The Spaces Between,” an exhibit of large-scale figurative drawings and paintings by Kansas City-based artist Melanie Johnson, is on display Oct. 27 through Dec. 7 at The Gallery at Penn College.

A Meet the Artist Reception will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. The gathering and exhibit are open and free of charge to the public.

Melanie Johnson's “Wild Domestic,” charcoal on arches, 72 inches by 144 inches
Melanie Johnson’s “Wild Domestic,” charcoal on arches, 72 inches by 144 inches

“Narrative is employed loosely here,” Johnson said of her works. “Imagery gives form to a dissonant accrual of lived experience, family histories, personal and appropriated iconography, and the acting out of roles both obligatory and imagined. Rather than explicit tales, I try to conjure a habitat that evokes the slipperiness of memory, longing and a disquieting curiosity.”

Working from observation and composite sources, the artist seeks to arrive at an image that is unflinchingly candid in physical representation, yet psychologically evasive. Surface, palimpsest and indexical histories of making are meaningful in her process.

Johnson received a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Indiana University and is an associate professor of art and design at the University of Central Missouri. She has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally.

Most recently, Johnson was an artist-in-residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Residency Program in Kansas City, Missouri. She lives in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas, with her son and many pets.

Located on the third floor of Madigan Library, The Gallery at Penn College is open 2 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Saturdays and Mondays, and will be closed Nov. 22-26.

In addition to serving as an educational resource for Pennsylvania College of Technology 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.

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