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Honoring the Unseen: An Exploration of Spiritual Themes
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Honoring the Unseen: An Exploration of Spiritual Themes

“Honoring the Unseen,” an exhibit of works exploring spiritual themes by artists Alexis Thynne, Melissa O’Grady and Leslie Organ, will be on display in the Clara Fritzsche Library Art Gallery from April 5 through May 18, 2007.

The exhibit features hand-rubbed collographs by Thynne, cloth spirit dolls by O’Grady and fiber art incorporating found objects by Organ. While the three artists use different media for artistic expression, they possess a shared reverence of nature and a quest to find the sacred in everyday life, often drawing their inspiration from the shapes, images and objects found in nature.

The three artists have reached this point in their artistic journey through diverse and unconventional paths. Alexis Thynne earned a bachelor of arts in biology with concentrations in visual and liberal arts from Lake Forest College in Chicago. Her interest in different cultures inspired her to travel extensively. She spent three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Central African Republic and Cameroon, teaching secondary-school biology and elementary-level environmental education.

Since returning to the United States, Thynne has become a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland. She spends most of her time teaching and creating nature inspired hand rubbed collographs, made by rubbing a matrix of white drawing paper with oil pastel, chalk, charcoal and powdered pigment, then manipulating the texture to get the desired effect. She exhibits locally and has had two solo shows of her work.

Melissa O’Grady earned a bachelor of arts in English from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and also has extensive teaching experience with both adults and children including English as a Second Language and American Sign Language. She has been interested in needlework since childhood, first beginning with embroidery and then moving on to using a sewing machine to make clothing. She began making dolls in 1996, inspired by an idea that came to her while walking in the woods. These dolls are not toys, but spirit dolls, each imbued with a special meaning. Today O’Grady owns her own doll company and exhibits extensively in juried art shows and galleries in the Cleveland area.

Leslie Organ emerged as an artist late in life. Since childhood she had loved art and been considered ‘artistic.’ She took art classes throughout school and college, but never really found her niche, with the obligations of being a graduate student, social worker, wife, mother, homemaker and learning disabilities tutor allowing time for only the occasional art class. At the age of 40, she became an interior designer and began to develop her artistic eye. Upon her retirement, she began assembling trinkets she had collected such as shells, old lace, rusty metal pieces, beads and fabrics into collages and assemblages. Today, Organ is a working artist, exhibiting extensively in local galleries, sometimes with O’Grady. She is also a member of the Textile Art Alliance.

For more information on this free exhibit, contact Karen Zoller, Director of the Clara Fritzsche Library, at 216.373.5267.

Karen Zoller is the director of the Clara Fritzsche Library.