ATHENS, Ohio (April 6, 2004) -- A new exhibit in the Kennedy Museum's education gallery features an in-depth look at two objects from the Museum's Contemporary Print Collection: Print Tapestries?Poem Wedding Dress and A Word Made Flesh?Throat, both by artist Lesley Dill. The exhibition, which is currently on view, runs through December 19, 2004. The public is invited to a reception at the Kennedy Museum on April 16, at 6:30 p.m.
Widely acclaimed for her contemporary works that draw upon the writings of American poet Emily Dickinson, Dill's prints are characterized by the complex interweaving of a wide range of materials, image and text. Layered with linguistic excerpts from Dickinson's poetry, these introspective objects take the form of dresses and female figures and explore how people relate to their bodies, spirituality and society.
Much like the poetry of Dickinson, Dill's work exudes both a frailty and resilience of the human spirit. Using mostly natural materials, such as Hindi newspaper and hand-sewn, tea-stained mulberry paper, Dill symbolically expresses her views on the beauty of imperfection. As Dill stated in an interview in 2000, "The stains, creases and sewing mark time and replicate our daily emotional experience of being touched, soothed, pinched, caressed and bruised."
Additionally, the Kennedy Museum's exhibition has taken the fragments of poetry that form part of the visual images and extended them to include more of Dickinson's writing. In this way, the words also exist on their own as part of the installation. Dickinson's words enrich the meaning of Dill's images and Dill's images offer a new perspective on Dickinson's poetry. What results is a contemporary homage to the vulnerability of being a human being.
Born in Bronxville, New York, in 1950, Dill attended Skidmore College and Trinity College, Hartford, earning a B.A. in English. She subsequently earned an M.A. in art education from Smith College and an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, Baltimore. In 1992 she began producing innovative prints that combine traditional techniques-such as lithography, silkscreen and etching-with collaged elements. Dill, who has shown widely in major museums and galleries, continues to produce an important and highly identifiable oeuvre.
Continuing the Kennedy Museum's mission of working with local schools as a resource for teachers and students, newly appointed Kennedy Museum 2004 Poet-in-Residence Wendy McVicker and Museum education staff will use these objects as a catalyst for exploration with the 8th Grade classes at Athens Middle School from March 29 to April 18. For more information on poetry residencies or additional programming, please call Sally Delgado at (740) 593-0953.
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