Art Department to Unveil Two New Exhibits on First Friday in Downtown Macon

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Christie DeNizio

MACON – Mercer University’s McEachern Art Center will unveil its latest show, How to Fold a Paper Boat, composed of works by Philadelphia artist Christie DeNizio, this Friday.

The Center will also debut an installation, titled Manifold, by Ayako Kurimoto, a visiting artist at Macon’s stARTup Studios, in its second gallery.

An opening reception for both exhibits will be held Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m., at the Center, located at 332 Second Street in downtown Macon.

Both artists’ works will remain available for viewing during the gallery’s normal hours – Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4-8 p.m. – through Oct. 19.

DeNizio will offer a presentation at the closing reception for How to Fold a Paper Boat on Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m. Her recent oil paintings included in the series depict enlarged fragments from museum reproductions, drawings, postcards, tarot cards and other print materials gifted and collected over time.

Within a shallow space, pieces of ephemera – items meant to exist for only a short time, but often saved for sentimental reasons – are arranged into collages and shadow boxes. The juxtapositions of ephemera and compression of spaces cause a viewer to sense a loss of balance but also to find solid ground upon investigation.

It matters less what the fragments depict; it matters that they signify different modes of image-making and dissemination. There are many modes of representation on display, often canceling each other out, forcing viewers to consider an alternate way to establish meaning. It is in this collapse that the artist attempts to create moments of real connection – despite the impossibility of doing so.

“Imagine a paper boat. We have followed the instructions and spent time carefully pressing edges and folding each plane until transformed. It will float, but not for long. And yet still, we fold our little paper boats and set them upon the waves,” said DeNizio, using a metaphor to relate her intention for this series.

DeNizio currently serves as a visiting assistant professor of art at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, as well as an instructor in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia.

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Yale University and Bachelor of Arts in studio art from Swarthmore. She has also studied at the Chautauqua Institute of Art in New York and the International School of Art in Italy.

Kurimoto, born and raised in Japan, is a metal casting artist. Her art is informed by her experience of relocating to the United States after high school, as well as the intersection of her American and Japanese cultural identities.

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Southern Illinois University and Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Fullerton, where she focused on cast metal, glass, ceramic and mixed-media sculpture.

The McEachern Art Center, home to one of the Art Department’s two galleries and its student studios, opened earlier this year at its historic downtown Macon location, which features a completely renovated gallery space at street level with studios and classroom space on the second floor.

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Kyle Sears