Nancy Kisselburgh is currently presenting her senior exhibition, “Raw Emotion,” in the Emory & Henry Art Department in Byars Hall.
Kisselburgh will host a reception and gallery talk on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 pm. Her large-scale drawings fuse the graphic nature of markers with extravagant colors to depict enormous animals that pop off the page. Each drawing brings the animals to life using a comic-book style of illustration. The exhibit will continue until March 1 and the gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on weekends.
“The animals express a range of emotions through body language and facial expressions, and those emotions reflect what human-beings often hide or repress because of social responsibilities,” Kisselburgh said. “Animals may do as they please; if they want to roll in the grass or bite one’s head off, they have absolutely no qualms about doing so.”
Other animals represented within the exhibition do not represent emotions but instead portray a state of mind or being. One example of this is the fish, in “Don’t Worry…Be Happy,” which shows no emotion (simply because it is stuffed and nailed to a board), but it does represent the human anxiety of being put on display. “You haven’t been Flossing Lately, Have You?” is a large drawing of a mouth demonstrating a moment of ultimate vulnerability and trust.
The emotions and ideas depicted by these creatures portray the musings of Nancy’s own imagination combined with elements of her life. From a young age she always enjoyed puzzles and books, and now within this comic-book and even child-like style of marker drawing she depicts her fondness for pattern and detail. Between the focus on detail, her love of the media (markers), and the story element conveyed by the animals she conveys her impression of these emotions through three-dimensional characters.
Nancy Kisselburgh majors in studio art and English literature at Emory & Henry College. As an E&H student she has created posters similar to the ones in the exhibit as promotions for school activities. Kisselburgh has previously exhibited her work with the E&H Art Department at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.
During the past summer, she also worked as a gallery attendant at the New Britain Museum of American Art gaining experience in presenting works in a museum setting.