Narratives Seen: Imagining yourself in the ‘empty space’


Narratives Seen: Imagining yourself in the ‘empty space’

Photo credit/ TV-Marywood

Esperanza Gutierrez, Assistant Community Editor

In the Shields Center for Visual Arts in the Mahady Gallery there was an art gallery called Narratives Seen.

This exhibition was open to the public from Feb. 27 to April 3. Artists featured were able to express their work, and it was up to the viewer to depict what each painting meant.

Some of the paintings contained empty spaces making the viewer picture them self in it.

Mark Webber, an assistant professor in the art department, explained what Narratives Seen is.

“The elastic concept of narrative gets explored,” said Webber. “It just presupposes an idea of the present moment. There had been a past moment and there will be a future moment and I think that that is the only necessary linkage to find between the four artists.”

Each painting told a different story, revealing itself to the viewer differently, according to Webber.

The four painters whose work is displayed in the Mahady Gallery are: Gayle Wells Mandle, Kevin Kinkead, Gretchen Dow Simpson and Mark Webber.

Kevin Kinkhead has been painting since he was 16 years old and has loved it ever since.

“I don’t know how to explain that I liked it. The process and how a picture got made and how it all fit together,” said Kinkhead.

These four painters were chosen based on where their roots come from.

Webber was on the search for three to four artists who have lived in northeastern Pennsylvania and people who lived outside of Pennsylvania.

Simpson and Mandle are people who grew up in Pennsylvania while Webber and Kinkhead are not from Pennsylvania.

Webber was chosen because he was interested in being a part of this event and Kinkhead is his friend whom Webber attended undergraduate school with.

“There are political stories that are being explored abstractly. There are domestic moments that don’t have any drama, small abstract pieces; there are empty hallways and empty stairwells in the paintings,” said Webber.

Kinkhead also noted, “Abstract work is hard to explain. There are no metaphors: it’s about space and painting in rhythm.”

Listen to a WVIA podcast of Mark Webber’s Narratives Seen interview with Erika Funke, host of Artscene, for more information.

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