In a quaint paper store, Paper Wings, Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati lives the most intriguing cut paper sculptures and collage like paintings. One of the intriguing things about this exhibition, Beneath the Layers, is that the gallery space is not a traditional one. The gallery space is pushed to the side and towards the back of the store allowing for part of the store to intertwine with the exhibition and allowing the viewer to wonder whether or not the decorations hanging above the cash register are considered to be part of the exhibition. Kristine E. Donnelly, a Cincinnati based artist, exhibition lived within the store allowing the viewer to get a sense of awe. Her work focuses on large-scale cut paper sculptures and cut paper collage with the combination of screen printing. Her work is inspired by historical ornamentation and patterns, but the twist on her work is by cutting, allowing for the recognizable patter to become unknown. Screen printing onto paper and then cutting out certain patterns reveals all the intricate layers from within. Not only that, but Donnelly is also experiencing testing the tolerance of paper and able to fully push the material to its skeleton core.
Beneath the Layers was an informal exhibition, which comes down to the location of the show being in a store. On the day of the opening, arriving a little after an hour from the start time, there were roughly five people in attendance. Out of those five people in attendance, three of them were not aware that there was a show. They were more interested in the books and mugs that were for sale.
Inside the informal event, Donnelly showcased her work in a professional manner. Her collage screen prints and cut paper were displayed in a white gallery frame and her large-scale sculptures hung freely along the walls and ceiling. Each piece was specifically lit allowing the viewer to see all the intricate cuts and patterns. Even the large-scale sculptures were lit beautifully, creating unique shadows within the piece and around the piece. The way Donnelly presented her work, elevated her work in certain aspects but is also detracted from her work. Her free hanging sculptures, were elevated by not having them confined within a box. They were able to dance when someone walked passed or by a slight change in the air conditioning. Not only did they create movement, but you could see the attention to detail and her laborious process more clear. Because the collage screen prints were confined in a box, it was harder to discern her laborious process and all the layers within each piece. You were blinded by a glare or by your reflection in the piece.
Special studio is essentially an advance drawing and painting studio course combined. It allows for all majors and any discipline to partake in this intense studio course and is designed to help students find their voice and direction as an artist. It also prepares artists by helping them articulate their work and practice at each critique. How could the exhibit be infused into a special studio course? Before the first assignment is given, there will be a presentation of different artists, showing their personal expression, social issues, what drives them as an artist and what is their inspiration. Finding yourself, is the first assignment in my class which is designed to help students find their subject matter and voice allowing them to show what they are truly passionate about. Kristine Donnelly would be a perfect example for the students. Showing her process as an artist, exposing each layers and tying in her inspiration with historical ornamentation and patterns, will help the students jump start their creative gears. Not only is Donnelly focused on her process but she also has a passion for her subject matter, which is the aim for my students in this class. Finding what truly makes them passionate and creating a body of work from that.