Local art on display at art gallery

Candy Neal/The Herald
Photographer Andrea Hoelscher (right) talked about her technique and her love for books during a Thursday evening reception for the opening of her exhibit at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center.

By Herald Staff

Local artistry will grace the walls of the Jasper Community Arts’ galleries at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center for the next two months.

The works of Ferdinand photographer Andrea Hoelscher as well as an exhibit including Dubois County artists are on display at the cultural center, 100 Third Ave., until Dec. 28. A reception for the opening of the exhibits was held Thursday evening.

Hoelscher said books were the inspiration for the large photographs in her solo exhibition.

“My subject matter ranges from precious tomes dating from the dawn of the age of print to cheap paperbacks destined for the recycling bin,” she said in a press release. “In some images I approach the books as sculptural objects, using light and camera angle to emphasize their forms or isolate details such as worm holes, broken bindings, and pulpy paper fibers. In others I manipulate the pages to accentuate certain words. For example, in ‘Between the Lines,’ I intersperse text from two different paragraphs in a 1950s guide to dating, layering phrases that generate fresh associations and novel readings.”

Hoelscher holds a master of fine arts degree in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well a a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography and drawing and a bachelor of arts degree in German from the University of Northern Iowa.

“The invention of the printed book stands out as one of the great turning points in human history,” she said. “Books have had the capacity to spread ideas like never before. They have launched revolutions and opened minds, edified and scandalized, provided practical advice and imaginary escapes on lazy afternoons.”

Her love for books started when she was young. “Weekly visits to the local library were a highlight of my childhood. I loved the magical hush of the interior, the smell of the older books on the shelves, and the way time seemed to stop as I got lost in a great story,” she said. “More recently, I have inherited an assortment of books passed down through generations of my family. Their weathered covers and brittle pages, burnished by the touch of long-lost ancestors, are among my most treasured possessions.”

“Compared to the glow of the screen, with its moving images and ever-shifting messages, the book can seem like a spent force, a staid relic of the past. But the power of this once revolutionary technology endures,” Hoelscher continued. “Books convey knowledge, invite us into alternate worlds, and preserve the concerns and passions of past generations. My hope is that these photographs inspire in viewers a renewed curiosity and reverence for the printed word and the book.”

Another exhibition now on display features local and regional artists who work with various mediums. Artists featured in the Local Group exhibition are:

  • Tina Drew, Jasper
  • Jay Hamlin, Jasper
  • Kit Miracle, Birdseye
  • Julie Parr, Jasper
  • Romy & Clare Designs, Jasper
  • George Smith, St. Anthony
  • Curtis R. Uebelhor, Ferdinand
  • Diane Wininger, Dubois
  • Monte Young, Jasper
  • Steve Poehlein, Loogoote

“You do not want to miss out on seeing the local talent in our area,” a Jasper Community Arts spokesperson said.

The galleries at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and donations are appreciated.

For more information, contact Jasper Community Arts at 812-482-3070.

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