The senior exhibit of art major Gale M. Connelly of Talking Rock, Ga., will be on display April 22- May 3, 2003, in the William W. Fincher Jr. and Eunice L. Fincher Visual Arts Center at Reinhardt College, Waleska, Ga. The opening reception will be Tuesday, April 22, 2003, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Fincher Visual Arts Center. The public is invited to enjoy the reception and exhibit.
Connelly describes herself as "a printer and painter by nature and by heart," but printmaking is her choice."It is every medium combined in one; I don't have to set boundaries."
She has wanted to be an artist for as long as she could remember and has dreamed of obtaining an art degree. Before achieving this goal, however, she has raised three children. Reinhardt appealed to her as a family-oriented institution. " It is small enough to care about the individual student," she said. She hopes those who view her show will see printmaking as a fine art medium. Because of her ties with South Georgia, her family's passion for fishing, and her appreciation for the environment and entomology, much of her work features insects like dragonflies, butterflies and lacewings.
Art Professor Curtis Chapman described Connelly as "a precisionist, someone who enjoys process, a requirement for all good print makers."
"She is willing to take the risk of experimentation for the discovery of new methods and has worked outside the traditional process of this medium," Chapman said. "In many ways she is creating a new chapter in the medium. Her thesis project has been a journey of development and maturity that has prepared her to continue the lifelong practice of imagemaking."
In her artist's statement, her description of her show, she wrote, "In art, mythology, and religion, wing structures have always been associated with gods, God, and angels, as well as with demons and dragons. Most of us identify with the breathtaking beauty of a Giant Swallowtail butterfly as it glides by, but we may not wish to consider the image of a powerful and colorful predator, such as the well‑engineered Dragonfly, taking as its lunch that same butterfly in midair. Wings for me represent both strength and grace."
"Throughout my childhood, I was fortunate to see and hear, first hand, the overwhelming colors and music found in our wetlands and swamps of Georgia," she said. "Some 30 years ago, through excursions with my family along the slow moving river waters and farm ponds of South Georgia, I became familiar with a wide variety of winged insects. Having been taught, as a child, the value of stillness and patience through fishing, I learned to notice and record several specimens of dragonflies and butterflies. Later, in my adult life, I became keenly interested in their connection to a healthy environment, and as an artist, their exemplification of beauty, structure, and function of form."
She acknowledged her evolution as an artist with the name of her senior exhibit. "Exploration of the insect wing in its many natural forms, as well as designs from my own imagination, has been a journey of change and personal vision through experimentation with techniques and in the development of new ideas. That is why I choose Metamorphosis as the title for my body of work."
Though her work is not entirely autobiographical, she "strives to connect the viewer with a moment in time wherein a wing brings us color, shape, movement, and freedom. Through its iridescent movement, we can identify with the joyous freedom and jubilant feeling of soaring to heights not physically, but spiritually, achieved by the human form."
For more information, please contact the Herbert I. and Lilla W. Department of Art at Reinhardt College at 770-720-5627. The Fincher Visual Arts Center is open Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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