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Divine Complexity, mixed media: encaustic drawing, oil pastel and tusche washes layered digitally, imaged on archival paper with archival ink, with hand applied encaustic. 24″ X 24″, 2017

Olivet College presents the exhibition “Epiphany” by Linda Rzoska. The exhibit will be open Jan. 17-Feb. 21 with an artist’s reception Feb. 8, 5-7 p.m. The display and reception will be held at the Kresge Foundation Art Gallery, located in the Riethmiller Blackman Art Building at Olivet College, 320 S. Main St. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Linda Rzoska is a native of southwest Michigan and was educated as a fine artist using traditional media for painting and drawing. She joined the faculty at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) in 2000 as a founding member of the Center for New Media, teaching design and illustration classes. In April 2016, Rzoska was granted the title of professor emeritus. Rzoska continued with her fine art career while teaching, her work inspired by her interest and research in nature, folklore, mythology and comparative religion.

Before joining KVCC, Rzoska worked in the corporate/private sector as a graphic designer and illustrator. She has received a number of awards for her illustration and fine art, including two notable International Awards of Excellence from the Society of Technical Communications, best of show in the 2016 Carnegie for the Arts Juried Regional Fine Arts Competition, and second place in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 2016 West Michigan Area Show. Rzoska’s work has been selected for numerous juried exhibitions and is represented in many private collections. Two of her most prominent solo exhibitions were at It Skildershuis Atelier in Leeuwarden, Netherlands and the Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland.

The majority of Rzoska’s current artwork is created using both traditional and digital media. Most often, traditional media is used in the mass of the artwork’s creation. Her work is represented by J. Petter Galleries, Douglas, Michigan.

Archetype, mixed media: graphite drawing, oil pastel and tusche washes layered digitally, imaged on archival paper with archival ink, with hand applied encaustic. 60″ X 30″, 2017

“My work focuses on relaying the voice of the landscape — striving to create imagery that moves the viewer to reestablish their ancient connection with nature and the earth,” Rzoska said. “This exhibition brings together many new pieces of artwork with a few that are older to help visually convey a worldview in which all living things have consciousness. Current scientific research is showing us that plants have the capacity to learn, communicate with one another and use memory. We as humans are just beginning to really understanding the sentience of other beings.

“Plant life in forests and prairies are our most ancient companions. Trees act as our planet’s lungs. Trees take in the carbon dioxide we exhale and we breathe in the oxygen they exhale. Trees are responsible for drawing water into the soil, which is essential to our planet’s water cycle that provides drinkable groundwater. Trees also release water into the atmosphere, allowing for the condensation that causes rainfall. I read somewhere that the evaporation leaf surface of a single tree is equivalent to the evaporation of a forty-acre lake. Consider photosynthesis, the alchemical ability of a leaf to take sunlight, water and air and turn them into food, which can feed, nurture and sustain animals and humans.

“The artwork in this exhibition celebrates the landscape’s presence and her gifts. In keeping with much of my artwork, these paintings were created to honor all things living in the natural world.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact Gary Wertheimer, professor of art, at 269.749.7627 or gbwertheimer@olivetcollege.edu.

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