Another Tyler Consolidated High School alumni will be celebrated for her art in the Gold Derrick Gallery in Sistersville.
Emmalyn Rucker, who went on from TCHS to earn a BA degree in Fine Arts and a minor in Art History at Kent State University (KSU), will be sharing her mixed media drawings and paintings that "explore how timeless sculptures have affected viewers as well as forged interesting relationships with their environments.
While the opening reception will be on March 14 from 5-9 p.m., artworks from her "Beyond the Stone" series will be on display from March 13-21, coinciding with SistersFest on March 14 and 15. She will also appear in the gallery on Friday, March 21, from 6-9 p.m. Gallery hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
“Marching Through Time”
2013, Emmalyn Rucker
Her expressed goal with this series is to examine "how sculptures have become hidden, masked, or simply covered by society, emotions, and circumstances." For that purpose she has blended various techniques, using intricate, decorative patterns, and flat areas of color.
She has sought through her interpretative works to give each of her subjects a voice, allowing viewers to interact with sculptures from a fresh perspective. While people may disregard statues and their still nature, Rucker's re-envisioning of classic masterpieces are layered, bursting into explosions of color and emotion.
"For someone who is considered a tourist, I feel that my eyes sometimes take fresh note of the work and see beyond the general outward appearance," she said of her travels. "I begin to investigate the principles of design by looking at the work and its relationship with viewers and its location. How do line, shape, color, form, and texture influence the piece? How does the viewer react to the work? How do I react to the work? What do I first notice?"
She noted that, although sculptures are often muted in color, she cannot help but to imagine them differently.
"If they could wear clothing, what would they choose to wear? Within each sculpture, there exists some sort of spirit; some personality or essence left behind by the sculptor who created the piece. I am merely trying to engage this spirit and allow it to speak to me. This dialog is what I attempt to reference as I work on a piece."
Her experience with many of these works is firsthand. She has traveled to Italy frequently and has had the opportunity to observe works by Italian masters, who have heavily influenced her.
She also has quite a list of accomplishments. She created the backdrops for KSU's "Rock the Runway: Venetian Carnival" (2011). Her work has also been included in the group show "Dimensional" (2012) at the William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio; KSU's "Student Annual Juried Exhibition" (2012); KSU's "Drawing V Exhibition" (2011); KSU's "Digital Media Short Film Festival" (2009); and the "Congressional Art Competition" (2008) in D.C. She received the award for "Best Piece" at the "6th Annual Honors College Student Show (2012) for her screenprint entitled "The Garden." She also created a temporary screenprint wall project that was located outside the KSU School of Art's lobby area for one week (2011).
Part of her inspiration comes from street artists throughout Europe who attempt to create a dialog with their surroundings by producing guerrilla style pieces or tagging things.
"Their quick brushstrokes, fluid line work, and vibrant colors have greatly come to influence the way I handle color and mediums," she said. "It is this rapid creation of work that often produces the most honest piece. There is less time to judge and critique oneself, allowing for a pure form of expression."
Similar to graffiti artists creating something new in their environments, Rucker likes to use found materials. She has used old mat boards that come from as far away as Italy and as close as Ohio to construct her mixed media works.
Rucker begins her process by photographing sculptures, taking the areas surrounding them into account as she works. After utilizing pastels and watercolors for a larger range of color, she will often work back into a piece using pens and ink.
"The contrast between what is first noticed and the minute detail is what makes each work exciting," she said. "Each work has the opportunity to provide the viewer with a new intricacy or detail not noticed upon first inspection."
She explained that patterns have become important to her pieces, especially when it comes to the reactions of consumers and society to such patterns.
"Someone once said that, 'Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.'" she said. "I choose to react to these intriguing and often extraordinary works by capturing them on film, and then interpretively recreating them for others to experience."
For more information on Rucker, visit her new artist website: www.emmalynrucker.com.