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Graduate student to create an interactive space with exhibit
Jul 23, 2012 | 318 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Creating an Interactive Space,” will be on display until Aug. 1 at Northwestern State University’s Orville Hanchey Gallery.
“Creating an Interactive Space,” will be on display until Aug. 1 at Northwestern State University’s Orville Hanchey Gallery.
Susan O. Avera of Smithfield, N.C., will present a collection of paintings that comprise her graduate thesis exhibition, “Creating an Interactive Space,” July 18-Aug. 1 at Northwestern State University’s Orville Hanchey Gallery.

Avera said she hopes viewers enter the extended space around each of the paintings and participate in a new experience.

“The interaction between the painting and the viewer begins when I use my large brushes to paint color on paper. I continue the line of motion through the air, leaving behind the energy of the color as the line makes its way back to the painting. Painting with large brushes allows my whole body to flow with the movement of the painting. This process evolves into a dance with the big brushes,” Avera explained. “The tools I use in my artwork are color, Chinese chi, brush painting and mind intent, to help me create more than just a painting on a wall; instead, I establish a space for the viewer. Feeling a spiritual connection with my paintings and surroundings, I intend that the color and free movement will lift the spirit of the viewer. He/she is invited to view and feel the joyful, peaceful colors surrounding him/her. My hope is that the viewer can be uplifted, and any fear or grief can be transformed into joy.”

Avera was inspired to try her method during a summer residency in an artist village in Beijing, China, last year, where she first encountered Chinese brush painting.

“This ancient tradition captured my imagination,” she said. “This exciting new process caused me to abandon my style of painting with oil on canvas, and I began to use traditional Chinese rice paper (or its modern equivalent) as my support, and colored ink as my medium.”

Avera likens the process to brilliant, translucent church windows she remembers from her childhood.

“I first fell in love with colors when I was eight years old and the explosions of light from the stained glass windows of my church, reflecting in my mother’s diamond ring, made it completely impossible for me to concentrate on anything but those beams of color,” she said. “From that moment on, my fascination intensified into an irreparable obsession that dominates my life. At that moment I could never have believed that my obsession with color would take me half way around the world to China.”

Hours are Orville Hanchey Gallery are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

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