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Memorial art exhibit honors former student

Feb. 9, 2005

By Brianna Huy

A collection of artwork by Andrew Lombardi, a 2003 graduate of the School of Art, is being showcased in the Trisolini Art Gallery from through Feb. 11, in remembrance of his life.

artwork by Andrew LombardiLombardi died on Sept. 22, 2004, at age 25 from a heart attack. He was born with the heart defect Transposition of the Great Arteries, a disease that prevents properly oxygenated blood from being circulated throughout the body. Having had two open-heart surgeries, one at 10 months old and the other in October 2003, and seven pacemakers throughout his lifetime, Lombardi's work is what he called in his artist's statement "a narrative of my scars."

According to his mom, Pamela Lombardi, he had been in a period of good health and his death was unexpected. To celebrate his life, friend and fellow graduate of the School of Art's photography program, Rebecca Whittington, decided to organize an exhibition of Lombardi's works.

"I wanted to do something he would like that would celebrate his work," Whittington says.

Many of the photos to be exhibited deal with the scars on Lombardi's body left from his many surgeries. In his artist's statement Lombardi said, "My torso is riddled with marks, covered with markings that trace violations of the body with a surgeons' knife. These scars mark my identity."

"He used his art in a way to heal himself," says Pam Lombardi. "That was an amazing aspect of it."

According to Pam Lombardi, he was very concerned about social equality.

At Ohio University, Lombardi was a member of Positive Action, a non-partisan group organized to raise awareness on political and social issues. Lombardi's mom also said he was a member of the Feminist Coalition as well. Lombardi graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor of fine arts in photography and a political science minor. Lombardi also received a certificate in Women's Studies.

artwork by Andrew LombardiLombardi enjoyed collecting things from vinyl records to comic books to found objects. He wanted to be a photo archivist and planned to attend graduate school to get his master's degree in library science.

"Collecting is about permanence," says Pamela Lombardi. "I think he was working against the temporary feeling of his life span."

A closing reception will be held at Trisolini on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. with his mother and friends attending. Refreshments provided by Lombardi's friends will be served.


Brianna Huy is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.

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