Found In Translation: OU Grads Collaborate At Majestic Galleries

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This month's show at Nelsonville's Majestic Galleries features the work of three artists, all graduates of Ohio University's MFA program.

The artists–Courtney Kessel, Natalie Tornatore and Danielle Wyckoff–will present an exhibition that is collaborative while also reflective of each individual's personal body of work.

While each artist comes from a different background (Kessel, sculpture; Tornatore, ceramics; and Wyckoff, printmaking), the themes present in these artists' work coalesce in their project Reveal Collaborative.

This collaboration was first conceived during an impromptu gathering in summer 2011 at a site near Athens. With a desire to create something in response to the context that surrounded them, Kessel, Tornatore and Wyckoff began to experiment with materials at hand in order to translate the landscape they saw through a glass windowpane.

The result of this translation, which took the form of mixed media sculptures, drawings and installations, reflect ideas of perception, labor and process.

The group states that this collaboration represents ways in which they understand and experience spaces and materials, such as a feminist form resulting in works that engage the viewer to understand familiar actions, places and materials through a new language, mark or presence.

The artists are presenting various parts of this collaborative project at Majestic Galleries. In addition, they are including a site-specific piece, incorporating ideas present in their previous collaboration of space and translation, in order to highlight the history of the Majestic, which first opened in 1912.

Finally, each artist exhibits examples of their individual work in the Majestic's main gallery space. Presenting both collaborative and individual work, Kessel states that this show is really representative of four people: The three artists themselves, as well as a single body formed through their collaborative process.

These artists met as MFA students at Ohio University. Kessel holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art (1998) and a MFA from Ohio University (2012). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Tampa Museum of Art, Exit Art: The First World in New York, the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art and as part of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition.

Tornatore holds a BA in Geography and Education from James Madison University (1996) and a MFA from Ohio University (2011). She has worked professionally as an art teacher, received numerous grants for her work, and exhibited her work throughout the United States. 

Wyckoff holds a BA and MA from Georgia College (1999, 2004) and a MFA from Ohio University (2010). She recently participated in a residency at Spiro Arts in Park City, Utah. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally.

The exhibition, which runs through November, will open Friday, Oct. 26 as part of Nelsonville's Final Fridays, with the three artists hosting a gallery talk from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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