While the weather outside may be dreary, Nina Sylvia's exhibit "Botanical Impressions" in Lancaster Lounge will bring some natural beauty back to the campus.
Hailing from West Bath, Sylvia's exhibit showcases over 25 original monotypes depicting natural and found objects using a contemporary gelatin printing technique.
Sylvia was introduced to the technique at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine as part of a class on handmade books.
Her teacher had learned the printing technique from Fran Merritt, who developed the technique and founded the Haystack Mountain School. Sylvia was immediately intrigued by this element of the bookmaking class and decided to further pursue gelatin printing.
Sylvia uses the medium to create an impression of natural objects and plants that she and her friends have grown.
She also incorporates found objects from Maine's shores into some of her work, such as a series called "Flotsam" which is included in the exhibit.
Objects directly included range from fish bait and seaweed to feathers and leaves. She explained that almost all of her pieces are done in series "due to the nature of the medium." This leads to clusters of work with similar chromatic themes and natural elements.
Sylvia works in a range of dimensions, her smallest pieces being 4x6 inches and her largest 6x3 feet (the imprint of a six foot plant). Her exhibit features some work that is "hand colored," meaning that the artist adds paint after the print is pulled.
Generally, however, her work is colored entirely by ink transferred in the printing process.
"Botanical Impressions" will be exhibited from March 1 to March 31 in Lancaster Lounge. There will be an opening reception where Sylvia demonstrates the printing technique on Friday, March 5 from 7 - 9 p.m.