School of Art Opens Exhibit "Sticks • Rocks • Leaves" by Natalie Petrosky on June 7

Kent, Ohio – The School of Art Collection and Galleries at Kent State University are pleased to announce a new exhibit, Sticks • Rocks • Leaves, by Natalie Petrosky. This show consists of serval paintings by the artist displayed throughout the exhibition space. The show will be on display from June 7- July 27, 2024, in the KSU Downtown Gallery, located at 141 East Main Street in Kent, Ohio. There will be a reception on June 7 from 5-7 p.m. which is free and open to the public.

"The imagery and symbolism of the natural world is seen throughout the paintings of Natalie Petrosky. She is heavily influenced by her landscape gardening work and hobby/passion. As a gardener she is engaged in the meditative process of collecting sticks, rocks and leaves, restoring order to our natural environments and reorganizing the materials around her to find new meaning in the interactions between natural and man-made ecosystems.

Her paintings often employ imagery of windows and fences as portals, filters, and frames for overgrown plants escaping and reclaiming their environments. The question of viewership is addressed as we peer through frames and windows, and occasionally the paintings and the natural world seem to perceive us back. Do we view nature from the outside looking in on it? Should we see ourselves immersed in it, looking all around us? Can we see and know ourselves from a non-anthropocentric point of view?

Petrosky’s work offers occasional Rorschach-like compositions that suggest nature’s symmetries, geometry, mysteries, seeming perfection, subtle irregularities, frayed edges and unexpected mutations. She crafts ecosystems where botanical specimens and floral compositions exist in conversation with their environments and not in precious bud vases.

This collection, "Sticks, Rocks and Leaves" explores ways that these essential building blocks can be broken down into fragments, refined into building materials for walls, edifices, fences, windows, art objects, reconstituted through entropy into mulch or compost and contain many lives and possibilities.

Some of her work also includes the imagery of fences, gates, and manmade structures that attempt to enclose, protect and contain nature. These are ultimately futile attempts at preserving plants, gardens, and ourselves from the ravages of time, theft, vandalism, predators, the elements and other forces of the natural world.

The sticks, rocks and leaves that comprise a natural environment can be combined into something greater than the sum of their parts and their appreciation often depends on the empty space between them. The negative space in Petrosky’s paintings gives the impression of mosaic or stained-glass windows but also of a forest canopy, the shattering of rocks, the branch structure of deciduous trees, the entropy of all things and the magical intermixing of all of nature’s elements."

Natalie Petrosky

About Natalie Petrosky

Natalie Petrosky (b.1989, Akron, OH) is an artist living and working in Cleveland, OH. She received her M.F.A. in painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee (2016) and her B.F.A. in painting with an Honors Thesis in glass from the School of Art at Kent State University in Kent, OH (2012). Petrosky works primarily in painting and drawing, as well as in sculpture, video and glass. Recent exhibitions include "Wild Bunch," Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA (2023); "The Regional," The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO (2022); "Watching the Seasons Change," Museum of the White Mountains, Plymouth, NH (2022); "The Regional," Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2021); "Something About Windows" (solo), The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI (2020); "VIRTUAL MICROCINEMA," RhizomeDC, Washington, DC (2020); and "Over the Structures," CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea (2020).

This exhibit is free and open to the public and has been brought to you with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

Ohio Arts Council logo

About the School of Art

The School of Art at Kent State University was established in 1941 and maintains a tradition of excellence in visual arts education, creation, scholarship, and leadership. Its undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual arts offer a range of directions and opportunities in the fields of art education, art history, and studio art, which includes a comprehensive array of studio disciplines: ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry/metals/enameling, painting, print media and photography, sculpture and expanded media, and textiles. The School of Art Collection and Galleries consists of six exhibition spaces located on the Kent campus and downtown Kent and a collection of over 4,000 artworks and objects. The School of Art is located at the Center of the Visual Arts at 325 Terrace Dr. in Kent. The 27,900-square-foot facility — twice the length of a football field —had its grand opening in 2016 and houses all School of Art studios and classrooms under one roof.

Image: "the stuck thorn will work its way out," acrylic and fabric on stretched satin.

POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2024 08:44 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2024 03:46 PM