Allegheny Alumni Show

June 1 - July 2, 2022

18 Allegheny College alumni from classes of 1973-2022 presented 40 interdisciplinary works. The opening took place during Meadville's First Friday and Gallery Walk and coincided with Allegheny College's Alumni Weekend. Some artists sustain independent studio practices while others consider themselves hobbyists. A brief description of each artist and their work is provided below.




Grace Blatchford ‘18

Abscission, 2018

Acrylic on canvas

NFS


Grasp, 2019

Acrylic on canvas

$600


Eke, 2019

Acrylic on canvas

$600


Shed, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

$100


Tesseract, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

$500


www.graceblatchford.art

Facebook @graceblatchfordart

Instagram @blatch.art


Grace Blatchford is a ceramicist recently turned painter based in Delaware. Blatchford creates abstract backgrounds and interrupts them with black and white illustrations. Her style developed out of a supply drought which led her to employ her collection of art kits accrued from well-intentioned family and friends, often including “cheap” paints and brushes. Abscission is Blatchford’s first completed painting, and the title describes the phenomenon in which a plant or animal loses a piece of itself naturally, such as the leaves falling in autumn. The flowers pictured, including sunflowers, lavender, thyme, and thistles, remind Blatchford of home and family. The subjects of her paintings include organic matter, from plants to bones to body parts. Others appear more geometric, particularly Tesseract, which depicts a “hypercube.” This tool in mathematical theory assists in conceptualizing the fourth dimension and piqued Blatchford’s interest when the pandemic prompted more time on Youtube. The colorful abstract backgrounds of each work are interrupted by the harsh white nonspace Blatchford makes her subjects occupy, contrasting their natural environments.



Allen Condon ‘16

Burn, 2022

Soy wax candle series

NFS


Facebook @ChimeraSupplyCo


Allen Condon primarily works in carpentry and recently ventured into making and distributing artisanal soy candles. Condon builds sets for community theater productions, and candle making is an extension of his practice to accent domestic spaces. In Burn, the artist crafts smells to evoke memories. The customary labels on the candles are substituted with photographs taken by Condon of bodies of water, including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Atlantic Ocean at New Haven Harbor. The scents correlate to events and their respective memories for the artist held within the photograph, taken on his phone. Incorporating personal elements with his craft, Condon asserts his practical objects as artworks fit for thoughtful viewing typical of a gallery. The artist encourages visitors to pick them up and give them a sniff.


Gene Frank ‘19

There I was having a great time in the backyard (1 & 2), 2022

Mixed media

$70 each


Instagram @gene_frank_radical_dude


Gene Frank is a painter based in Pittsburgh who draws influence from the mundane to contemplate the surreal. Frank avidly enjoys the popular Fox network show, The Simpsons. In There I was having a great time in the backyard (1 & 2), the artist identifies themselves through the character Marge, devoted wife and mother to her more widely replicated costars, Homer and Bart (and Lisa and Maggie). Frank began working on a larger piece of cardboard, collaging drawings and scrap paper from around their home while considering their relationship to Marge, before cutting it into pieces and choosing two for display. Scrap materials at a small scale are more available to the artist. Scaling the works down further asks viewers to look closely. Gene Frank invites their audience to peer into the surreal nature of “[digging ourselves] into a happy little rut…” (Season 8, Episode 2)


Justin Goetz ‘96

Forget this Highway, 2009

Etching

$50.00


Cryptic Monument, 2009

Etching

$50.00


www.justingoetz.com

Instagram @goetzjp


Justin Goetz etches landscapes using imagery from his sketchbook. The curated settings are familiar and nondescript. Goetz keeps a small-scale notebook to draw observed objects and selects renderings for printmaking. The artist etches into a soft ground on copper plates before treating them in an acid bath to produce lines for ink. Goetz draws inspiration from photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose works focus on industrial architecture, and John Baldessari, who is known for his “found” photography. The prints mimic their referenced ink drawings, but contain characteristic marks of a technical process. Forget this Highway and Cryptic Monument depict vaguely familiar subjects in black ink on white paper, allowing them to remain anonymous. Goetz seeks to craft ambient and surreal landscapes from his observations of the world around him.


Heather Green ‘02

A Perhaps Hand (Reemergence), 2022

Found wood, metal, clay, acrylic

$230


Swan Dive, 2022

Found wood, wire, metal, clay, acrylic

$230


Facebook @heathergreenstudio

Instagram @heathergreenstudios


Heather Green composes sculptures of found, “storied” objects to form conceptual narratives. She bonds with her father over valuing otherwise disposable items, and “shops around” his barn when she’s visiting him. This practice derives from a drawing assignment while Green attended Allegheny College which called for depictions of narrative, for which she chose the fuel return line of a Mack truck. “Storied” objects allow audiences to relate to the work with their own iteration of said story. A Perhaps Hand (Reemergence) and Swan Dive consist of pieces of wood her dad set aside, dismembered clay arms made using appropriated doll part molds, and wire or metal. The small hands extend outwards, striving for connection. Green presents intimate renditions of her practice and invites viewers to observe the history of the objects while considering their collective story.


Brittany Griffith ‘15

Oyster Shell 1-4, 2020

Watercolor

NFS


Brittany Griffith renders oyster shells as homage to her love of the ocean and the creatures occupying it. Oysters represent exploration to Griffith, both as ocean natives and sophisticated food she had to learn to enjoy. The artist employs water colors to capture the species’ pearlescence. Oyster Shell 1-4 is the first of three series completed, all consisting of ocean life. Griffith works for National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and is a certified dive master, and her artistic practice is an extension of her passions. The works are nearly to-scale, allowing visitors to peer closely at her subjects and the delicate brush strokes composing them. From afar they appear as scientific illustrations, but further inspection reveals the impressions of Griffith’s reverence for her subjects.


Kelly Lani-Burtch ‘12

Dragon #2 (yellow), 2019

Mixed media

$1,200


Dragon #3 (blue), 2019

Mixed media

$1,200


Dragon #4 (red), 2020

Mixed media

$1,400


Social media @laniburtch.art


Kelly Lani-Burtch employs papier-mâché to create dragons and other fantastical creatures. Each piece consists of a dragon head, allowing the viewer to fill in the blanks with their imagination. Lani-Burtch is an art educator and dedicates time to her practice by revisiting papier-mâché. The artist’s senior composition at Allegheny College incorporates papier-mâché and two-dimensional artwork, and her research in this project led her to Dan Reeder. Lani-Burtch reconsiders Reeder’s technique and subject matter since graduating from Allegheny. Dragons are figures of cross-cultural imagination and allow Lani-Burtch avenues for contemplative labor without the limitations of correctness. Fantasy serves as a useful educational tool as well as creative outlet for the artist, and her Dragon series is ongoing.


Charmaine Koehler-Lodge ‘74

Twilight, 2021

Watercolor

NFS


Charmaine Koehler-Lodge presents a mystical scene created with watercolor. The artist deviates from her traditional printmaking medium, and initially intended the image to be reproduced for holiday cards. The fox indents the snow, alluding to the otherwise darkened winter landscape. Koehler-Lodge illustrates for her sister’s Berkley-based publication, Edible East Bay, and consciously utilizes watercolors as opposed to less environmentally friendly pigments. The artist derives inspiration from the natural world as well as fantasy novels. The fox is magical, made clear by the iridescence scattered through the snow. The more lustrous colors do not translate digitally, hence its retention as a stand-alone work. Twilight delightfully introduces viewers to Koehler-Lodge’s conscious and generally private artistic practice


Doug Lodge ‘73

Night Hatch, 2017

Mixed media, found material

NFS


650 Years of Service, 2018

Mixed media, found material

NFS


Doug Lodge works as a restoration carpenter and collects debris from job sites to reappropriate. He engages in the practice of being a “non-consumer,” and views his artworks as “frivolous” objects. Rather than creating for the sake of selling, he uses his sculptures as personal contemplation and appreciation for the objects. He cites his experience with a salvager in the `70s as formative in developing this relationship to all objects in his life. The labor of making-do becomes more difficult when disengaged from the consumerist tendency to constantly buy things and throw them away. 650 Years of Service honors the labor of the objects themselves, titled after the time they were utilized. The sculptures consider endurance and allow the objects to occupy new physical and theoretical spaces.


Lesly Mejia-Flores ‘16

Untitled #1 (Caldito the Pollo), 2022

Digital art printed on canvas

$300


Untitled #2 (Rosa Pastel), 2022

Digital art printed on canvas

$300


Untitled #3 (Take Out), 2022

Digital art printed on canvas

$300


www.toastgirlart.com

Social Media @toastgirl_art


Lesly Mejia-Flores’s self-portraiture combines figural representation and symbolism in a style reminiscent of Mexican murals. Perfumes, photographs, and jewelry frame her mirrored image to incorporate familial narratives. Mejia-Flores moved to the Bronx at 10 years old, and reflects on how personal possessions brought her comfort. She is currently based in Queens, but does not consider any one place “home.” The use of the mirrors situate the portraits as self-reflections, but also invite the viewers into the intimate scenes. The artist’s use of highlights flatten the dimensional planes, raising the objects to the same visibility as the stylized and posed figures. Mejia-Flores presents detailed compositions to invite visitors into a contemplative and personal setting.


Rebecca Porter ‘19 & Lenny Zimmermann ‘18

what we lose, what we find, 2022

Watercolor & gouache

$1,000


Social Media @thesunni_b and @daddy_grandma


Rebecca Porter and Lenny Zimmermann combine their independent practices in a collaborative project. The end result derives from many other attempts, where the artists and friends passed paper back and forth contemplating the e.e. cummings poem maggie and milly and molly and may. Both artists share love for bodies of water, and engage in abstraction in their respective practices. The challenge they face includes creating a cohesive composition despite differing techniques. Zimmermann tends to preplan paintings more than Porter, and they compromise to blend their styles. The result adopts imagery from the sea, but closer inspection reveals less structure than perceived from afar. The two artists present what we lose, what we find in honor of David Cheldon Odusanya.


Sylvan Rachel ‘22

Untitled, 2022

Acrylic on canvas

Make an Offer


Sylvan Rachel is a film and environmental science major entering their final semester at Allegheny college. Rachel works primarily at a smaller-scale with markers, pens, and collage, but ventures into large-scale painting on canvas for Untitled. The figure occupying the right side of the painting is an idealized feminine figure, devoid of individualized features. Rachel grapples with themes of violence and gender dysphoria. The “ghoulish” face on the bottom left reflects the way in which victims of violence are asked to carry themselves, with a plastered smile. The artist splatters red paint, even impressing their handprints on the blank canvas, to further indicate brutality. Untitled asks viewers to face the scene, contemplating individual roles in systemic issues.


Gwen Singer ‘15

Do It Yourself, 2022

Instant Photograph (diptych)

$300

Self Portrait as a Ghost, 2019

Instant Photograph

NFS


www.gsinger.com

Social Media @gwenelaine


Gwen Singer’s self portraits from different eras represent themes within her greater practice. Both are part of their own respective ongoing series. Self Portrait as a Ghost considers the artist’s relationship to herself, and was taken when she began her gender-affirming transition. Do it Yourself calls back to a series she began as a junior at Allegheny College in which she staged photos of herself engaging in the relationship to herself she desired. In this particular image, the diptych translates her giving herself a tattoo, and was taken this year. The artist reflects on how what used to seem idealistic became reality through cultivating the relationship with herself she deserves. Although they are a part of different series, the photographs both demonstrate Singer’s personal development with self-love and acceptance. The small-scale lends itself to the intimacy of the subject matter and the artist invites viewers to look closely.



Dan Williams ‘83

Girls at the Norwegian Farm, 2002

Watercolor

NFS


Dan Williams, a visual artist painting in the realist style, met his wife, Nancy ('83), at Allegheny College, and Girls at the Norwegian Farm depicts their two daughters. The pair in the painting gleefully look up from the farm animals at their feet. Williams chose to interpret a photograph from a family trip to his wife’s ancestral home on the southwest coast of Norway. By omitting all elements of the pastoral backgrounds he normally gravitates towards in his painting practice, Williams accentuates the expressions on his daughters’ faces. The artist gravitates towards depicting people in landscapes in his works and often applies this approach to portraiture. The girls’ joyous smiles illuminate the dark background, and that 'negative' space enables viewers to imagine the scene in any number of familiar settings. Williams loans the painting for Allegheny Alumni Show from its usual place in their home.



Jonathan Hou Yee ‘17

Bulletin, 2020

Pencil, digital media

$25.00


Heavy Thoughts, 2021

Pencil, digital media, mixed media

$25.00


Arbitrage, 2022

Pen, pencil, digital media

$25.00


Gravity, 2017

Pen, digital media, bristol board

$25.00


Another Shore, 2021

Pencil, digital media

$25.00


Instagram & Twitter @_neitheror


Jonathan Yee curates maps of fragmented and sometimes imaginary landscapes as a meditative practice. Yee first experimented with mapmaking through his senior composition at Allegheny College. Gravity relates closest to the works made during Yee’s senior year, though mapmaking branches into abstraction and begins incorporating allusions to landscapes. The artist considers his relationship to spaces and the mental maps he uses to navigate them. Heavy Thoughts differs from the others, depicting a figure whose exhaustion contrasts the colorful, albeit busy, collage above her. In Bulletin, Another Shore, and Arbitrage, Yee continues to develop his style, deviating further from realism. The artist works as a data analyst and uses his “map-making” as a tool for contemplation and self-expression.


Sophie Thompson ‘21

Disaster Decor: Unequal Distribution, 2022

Wallpaper pattern

$600


Social media @sophie_g_thompson


Sophie Thompson employs toile de Jouy, a printing technique of bold symbols over a pale background often used for ceramics and upholstery. Disaster Decor: Unequal Distribution appears familiar and domestic, but further inspection reveals scenes of environmental disaster. Thompson illustrated two cars, one in a flood zone and another in a drought, situating the fossil fuel industry within its consequences. They repeat throughout the pattern, and are broken up by drawings of a barometer and a thermometer to directly call to the ongoing climate crisis. The use of red ink deviates from more traditional iterations of toile de Jouy, which generally use blues or other dark hues, to communicate urgency. Thompson’s print can be reiterated infinitely, and she tends to use them within her sculpture practice, but is scaled down and framed for Allegheny Alumni Show. Viewers are not immediately overwhelmed by the expansive nature of the pattern, but the repetition becomes clear and begs a closer look. Thompson continues to develop related patterns within her practice, expanding upon themes around the domestic and climate change.


Erika Levy ‘19

Turbo Setosus, 2020

Prismacolor Premier colored pencil

NFS


Radial, 2018

Linoleum block print

$100


Senecio Rowleyanus, 2018

Linoleum block print, Copic marker

$175


Passiflora, 2018

Linoleum block print, Copic marker

$175


Neferneferuaten, 2020

Derwent graphite pencils

NFS


Instagram @elevydesign


Erika Levy creates scientific illustrations around her interests. Levy employs graphite and colored pencils for detailed rendering, and linoleum block prints for more graphic images. The artist plans to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts incorporating art, education, and community outreach. Levy references photographs she takes and titles them with either scientific names or shorthand references, as is the case with Radial. Neferneferuaten depicts a statue of Nefertiti, and is named according to her recorded throne name. Plants, ancient Egypt, and shells represent a small piece of a plethora of interests, and Levy engages in her practice to supplement her hobbyist research. Each work differs in form and content but is executed with precise detail.