From January 8 to February 2, 2018, Hunt Gallery will be exhibiting Hannah Kozlowski’s mixed media show, Exactitude (In Flux). The opening reception for the show will be free and open to the public on January 15 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. It will feature refreshments and a talk by the artist.

Hanna Kozlowski (born in 1986 in Connecticut) is a painter and papercut artist. Kozlowski has displayed her work nationally in more than 50 exhibitions and in numerous catalogues. She earned her MFA from Clemson University in 2010 after graduating summa cum laude from Anderson University with a BA in art and a concentration in painting & drawing. Having worked as a college professor since 2009, she has taught a wide range of art courses at the undergraduate level. In 2015, she was appointed to the position of assistant professor in the School of Art & Design at Marshall University, where she simultaneously serves as the foundations coordinator. She currently resides in Huntington, West Virginia.

Hanna had the following to say about her work and the show:

As a painter and papercut artist, I create work that participates in the oil painting tradition but also defies the traditional hierarchy of paint as a medium. By merging paint with hand-cut paper or photographs excavated from the historical archive, I attempt to blur the boundary between the historically male-dominated practice of painting and the underrepresented realm of domestic craft. By allowing paint to “take a back seat,” so to speak, I continue the practice initiated by second-wave feminists of elevating the art forms of craft and decoration, once disparaged as “women’s work,” to the status of high art. In addition to feminist theory, my studio practice is informed by the language of ornamentation, digital technology, an obsession with detail, and an interest in poststructuralism. Although I employ multiple strategies in my work, each piece is unified by an investigation of the visual character of the decorative motif — its form, its capacity for expression, and its potential to disrupt the repetitive structure in which it exists. Through recontextualization, it is free to operate in a variety of ways, from serving as a compositional tool that can structure or obliterate pictorial space, to functioning as a signifier of time, location, and culture. By appropriating traditional Polish cut-paper designs known as wycinanki, for example, I generate a dialogue surrounding my own heritage as a first-generation Polish American. Lately, I am exploring ways of abstracting these decorative forms so that they translate as ambiguous remnants of ornamentation. By complicating the motifs through strategies such as warping, tiling, fragmenting, cutting, and layering, they tend to fluctuate between order and chaos, simultaneously existing as familiar and strange, contained yet “set free.” I am interested in the perceptual tension that results from combining these flat shapes/cut spaces with painted illusions of form and physical layers of paper. In a sense, I find that the visual confusion this work creates parallels our own socially constructed and oftentimes distorted perceptions of reality and self.

Hunt Gallery is Mary Baldwin University’s home of public art that is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2017–18 academic year can be found online.