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Arts center spotlights previous show winner

Amy Okamoto

Artist Meghan O’Connor was the focus of the Norfolk Arts Center’s newest exhibit, “Dig,” which debuted in the main gallery on June 6. The exhibit is free to the public and will be on display through August.

O’Connor is best known for her exploration of the printmaking process and lithography. Her work has been displayed nationally and internationally and can be found in collections across the U.S., Australia, Ireland and Argentina.

She is a previous winner of the Norfolk Arts Center Juried Show and is an associate professor at Wayne State College. If you have attended NAC’s Soup ‘R Art in recent years, you have likely encountered O’Connor and her students, who demonstrate screen printing on shirts.

O’Connor’s work frequently involves a narrative where she explores relationships, both interpersonal and with our own selves.

Imagery of birds and animals are often used as a substitute for humans. Visually, this draws the viewer closer, allowing us to see the embossed textures she creates. Her detailed bird drawings are as delicate as a bird’s fine bones with tightly controlled lines which juxtapose with the seeming unpredictability of the embossing patterns.

Thematically, O’Connor’s work examines our tendencies in today’s wired world to make choices that provide short-term fulfillment versus that which could provide long-term well-being.

Her use of animals rather than humans allows us to reflect on the message without the need to identify with the messenger. Evocative of the human condition, O’Connor’s work encourages viewers towards empathy instead of judgment.

Exhibiting with O’Connor is photographer Lisa Bang Hoffman. Entitled “Natural World,” Hoffman’s exhibit focuses on the complexity of emotions in childhood development. Her images explore the children’s burgeoning sense of self as they relate to other children through play and become aware of social expectations. Hoffman’s collection will be on display in the atrium exhibit space.

Upcoming Free NAC Events

Artist Speaker Series featuring Sarah Lemmon: June 20, 5:30-6:15 p.m.

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