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Now Showing in the RSM Art Gallery - Ellen Wetmore: Pareidoliac Grotesques

The RSM Art Gallery is pleased to announce that Pareidoliac Grotesques by Ellen Wetmore opens on Friday, April 26. To celebrate, the Gallery is hosting an artist talk at 5:00 p.m. followed by a reception from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Please stop by to meet the artist, view the exhibit, and enjoy some light refreshments. What better way to end the final full week of classes?! 

marbled print from the Pareidoliac Grotesques exhibit by Ellen Wetmore

Ellen Wetmore:
Pareidoliac Grotesques
April 26–September 5, 2024

Opening Reception Friday, April 26
Artist Talk 5pm | Reception 5:30-7:30pm

Reading Day Relief Paper Marbling Workshop
Wednesday, May 1  | 3:30-5:30pm | Collins Creative Corner
see workshop details

About the Exhibit

Ellen Wetmore’s Grotesques drawings require the preliminary production of batches of marbled paper. The artist drips liquid acrylic paint in a bath of water thickened with methyl cellulose and then manipulates the paint drops to create interesting shapes and patterns. Then she gently sets a piece of alum-soaked paper into the water to make a unique print, each one looks like a psychedelic marble slab. Wetmore’s rules for her process dictate that she draws the first thing she sees on the paper without any preplanning. This visual pattern recognition is known as pareidolia- a situation in which someone sees a pattern or image of something that does not exist, such as seeing a face in a cloud. The imagery in the drawings is fantastical, influenced by her deep study of ancient Italian grotesques paintings, which consist of loosely connected motifs that often incorporate human figures, birds, animals, and monsters. The saturated palette of the papers combined with the black ink nods to comic books from the 1960s and 70s. Wetmore uses archival waterproof ink to make her Grotesques drawings, the fixedness of the material demonstrates her commitment to uncovering and building the uncanny realms within them.