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Repurposed encyclopedias on exhibit at gallery

Feb. 28, 2011

A detail of Wendy Wahl's "World Book vols. 1-11," part of the artist's display at the Knight Campus Art Gallery. Photo by Viera Levitt.The Community College of Rhode Island’s Knight Campus Art Gallery will present “Wendy Wahl: Spheres (of knowledge),” a new body of work the artist created from repurposed encyclopedias specifically for the exhibition, from March 3 to 25.

An opening reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, with an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Visitors can walk around 3D paper objects – spheres, created from pages of the 1961 edition of The World Book encyclopedias in 19 volumes. The sound of winds, compiled by the artist, playing in the gallery contributes to the unique feel of the installation.

Wahl said the word “spheres,” has several definitions in the World Book dictionary. “I was most taken with No. 6: ‘The place or surrounds in which a person or thing exists, acts, works.’ My interest in materials and form, the meanings that they carry and the space where they are viewed guided the direction of this exhibition,” Wahl said. “I am manipulating familiar elements that in a particular format belong to a collective consciousness. These works are offered as questions in the hope that they will inspire yet more questions. I am pleased to have the opportunity to present this work in an educational setting.”

For 25 years, Wahl has been making art that reflects upon her personal place and comments on the collective station in time; an emphasis on the relationship between nature and culture has been at the core of her direction. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in a number of private and public collections including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design.

She was chosen for Networks 2010, a project documenting Rhode Island artists through video and exhibition, and has received three artist fellowship awards from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The U.S. ambassador to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, selected her work for his residence through the Art in Embassy Program. She has been recognized in numerous publications.

Wahl received a master’s of art in education in fiber art from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a bachelor’s degree in art from California State University at Northridge. She taught for RISD in continuing education for 10 years and has been a lecturer at the University of Rhode Island and at the Community College of Rhode Island. She resides in West Kingston with her husband, John Dunnigan, and their daughter, Hannah.

The gallery is located in Room 3500, on the third floor of the round building at the Warwick campus, 400 East Ave. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information, e-mail the gallery director and exhibition curator Viera Levitt or visit the Art Department's website.


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Last Updated: 1/31/14