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Trio of Artists Featured in New Harcum Gallery Exhibit

'RE:trace' Explores How Memories Are Extracted from Collected Scraps and Mementos

October 27, 2011

Collage features works, from the left, by Eileen Woods, Paula Nees and Barbara Vogel.

Collage features works, from the left, by Eileen Woods, Paula Nees and Barbara Vogel.

The works of three Columbus artists are being featured in Wilmington College’s Harcum Art Gallery Nov 2 through Dec. 9 in an exhibit titled “RE:trace.”

An opening reception honoring artists Eileen Woods, Paula Nees and Barbara Vogel was held Nov. 2. Normal gallery hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by special appointment arranged by Hal Shunk, professor of art and curator of the venue.

We often cling to remnants and mementos from our past — bits and pieces that hold no value to anyone else. These scraps stir specific memories and, by viewing or holding them, we spin back in time, recalling a face, texture or scent that is special only to us.

“RE:trace” will explore how memories are extracted from collected scraps and mementos. The constructions and tableaus in this exhibition are designed to retrace the past — real or imagined.
Imagery based upon recollections is sparked by each artist’s possessions consisting of linens, photographs, pieces of fabric and other bits of history.

Each artist holds a Master of Fine Arts degree. Woods and Vogel earned theirs from The Ohio State University while Nees received hers from the University of California.

Woods works from photographs of her childhood. She combines both traditional and non-traditional mediums to create a contemporary, yet nostalgic, glimpse of growing up in the 1950s, using wood, wood burning, fabric paint, collage, rust and embroidery.

“Each piece is a venture into the carnival midway of delightful childhood experiences,” she said.
Nees combines photographic evidence of her parents’ early life together, along with memories of surfaces, textiles and objects that reference the physical nature of the couple’s shared interests.

“These two people complemented each other like the colors red and green; opposite but enhancing the other’s qualities,” she explained, stressing that portraiture is not the focus of her works so much as the tactile memory of the things her parents revered and treasured.

Vogel will present encaustic collages titled “The House Series,” which features abstract houses collaged with family photographs and memorabilia. This work began when her parents moved into an assisted living facility and she had the task of sorting and purging items from their home.

“The homes feature my family at a younger, more vital point in life,” she said. “The passage of time and memories of youth are major themes weaving through the imagery.”