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Woodcarving/Printmaking Exhibit Explores Myth, Fantasy

The darkness dwelling in folk and fairy tales will be illuminated in the next exhibit at The Gallery at Penn College, located on the third floor of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Madigan Library.

“A Darkness,” showcasing the intricacies of woodcarving and printmaking by artists Lauren Kinney and Patrick Vincent, will run Oct. 11 through Nov. 10. A Meet the Artist Reception is set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15, featuring a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m.

Lauren Kinney, “Gift Jar,” 2011, woodcut, 60 inches by 60 inches
Lauren Kinney, “Gift Jar,” 2011, woodcut, 60 inches by 60 inches

For centuries, the graphic traditions of woodcarving and printmaking have used darkness to articulate the split between seen and unseen, reality and myth, waking and dreaming. Fairy tales dramatize and give shape to what is hidden and lives in shadow. A collage of fantasy and reality intersperse in these stories, and the works of Kinney and Vincent celebrate this density, complexity and wonder through large woodcuts, prints and handmade books.

Kinney uses hidden pictures, symbols and patterns to weave collected imagery into narrative. Vincent engages the physicality of the print, paper and book to survey the interconnection of animal and human in folk tales and fairy tales.

“I am a collector,” Kinney said. “I hunt for secret treasure, go looking for magic. I fill tiny drawers with forgotten things: arms of abandoned dolls, half-eaten books, rusty bits of metal, firecrackers and costume jewelry, photographs of people I’ve never known. My mind is another drawer, filled with imagery from life and dreams. From these sources, I build new images, intuitively weaving stories together.”

Kinney and Vincent both earned Master of Fine Arts degrees in printmaking from Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University. They teach at Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kan.

Kinney, from Santa Rosa, Calif., received a Bachelor of Arts in printmaking from Humboldt State University. Vincent is from Minneapolis and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities.

“My work in print and paper structures explores myth and narrative in graphic traditions, mixing traditional and contemporary animal-human iconography from various cultures,” Vincent said. “These carvings, relief prints and handmade paper magnify the physicality of animal-human figures as they appear throughout folk and literary cultures.

“The animal-human figures signify that we are at once a part of the natural world and apart from it, necessitating the creation of myths for humans to imagine their disconnection with nature. These animal figures are often depicted as ‘tricksters’ in various folk tales; the trickster animal acts as totem and foil for humans’ understandings of life and death in the natural order – materializing how many folk stories humanize the natural world in order to manage it.”

The gallery is open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Saturday and Monday).

For more about the exhibit and The Gallery at Penn College, email or call 570-320-2445.

For general information about the college, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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