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Valley Artists Featured in Rose-Hulman’s Spring Exhibition

March 24, 2011

Wabash Valley artists who have showcased the beauty of Japanese calligraphy, geometry and abstract objects through a variety of artistic forms are featured in Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's spring art exhibition.

More than 100 hundred artworks cover two hallways in the college's Moench Hall.  They're available for public viewing on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 28.  A special artists' reception is planned on Thursday, March 31, from 4:30-7 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public.  Artists will be available to discuss the inspiration behind their artworks.

Paintings inspired by Japanese calligraphy and geometry art prints by Terre Haute artist Mary Jo Maraldo are featured throughout the first floor.  Meanwhile, paintings, prints and drawings by 14 regional and national artists from Terre Haute's Gopalan Contemporary Art Gallery are on the second floor.

Maraldo returned to her hometown in 2008 after spending several years in Florida and Japan.  She studied Japanese language and culture at Tokyo's Sophia University and then earned teaching credentials in Ikenobo, the oldest school of the Japanese art of floral arrangement.  She began training in Japanese calligraphy under Daiki Takemoto in Kyoto in 1987.

In her artwork, Maraldo merges the ancient art of writing Sino-Japanese characters (kanji) with a deep understanding of the language of abstraction in art.  Often the lines of a character are displaced to create new shapes, and masses of varying ink intensity are used instead of line to create abstract imagery.

"My own work strives to create spaces where writing and drawing converge, and written characters oscillate between semantic meaning and abstract form," states Maraldo.  "Often I use brush strokes that ordinarily form legible characters to convey a powerful sense of motion in black and white."

The first-floor exhibit also includes Maraldo's latest creations of colored geometric drawings that evoke three-dimensional spaces.  Based on 20-, 40-, and 60-degree angles, the drawings seem to oscillate between different shapes and dimensions, and were inspired by the artist's interest in showing that people can overcome thinking in simple dualities like "we" and "they" and instead consider three and more sides to any problem.

The wide array of unique works on display involves geometry, exquisite brush work and unraveling language.  In striving to reveal the essential meaning of these beautiful images, Maraldo brings a timeless form of art and writing into a contemporary realm and perspective.

Gopalan Contemporary Art Gallery artists featured on the second floor are Kimberly Arp, James Campbell, Robin Cole, Marek Czarnoleski, Stephanie Doty, Susan Goldman, Larry Green, Anthony Henderson, Cathie Laska, Mary Ann Michna, Bharat Modi, Tom Swopes, Beth Tuttle and Rhonda Yochum.

For more information about these exhibits at Rose-Hulman, contact Steve Letsinger, coordinator of arts programming and art curator, at (812) 877-8452 or Steve.Letsinger@rose-hulman.edu.