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College of the Atlantic Blum Gallery Exhibit: Lindsay Mercer ’15

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The Ethel H. Blum Gallery will be exhibiting Work by Lindsay Mercer ’15 now through January 31, 2014, from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

The pieces in this show are a connection between the science of carefully creating materials and the artistic expression of creating visual images. Lindsay has extracted all of the colors you see by hand from native and foreign plant fibers. The pigments create a muted color palette that reflect both their biological origins as well as the drawn content of the images.

Lindsay worked with two sisters in Nashville, Tennessee, studying how to dye large pieces of fabric for companies, as well as performing individual dye tests to see which methods were more effective than others. The experience gave her the opportunity to simultaneously develop her scientific and artistic understanding of natural dyes.

“I think my favorite part of the internship was being able to see the process from start to finish,” Lindsay said. “For example, I might collect Goldenrod early in the morning before I went to the shop. When I got to the shop I would prepare the plant fibers, take out the bugs, and soak the plants. Then I would heat it and extract the dye and make sure the fabric was ready to be dyed. Getting to sit in front of the dye pot, working the fabric into this beautiful golden color that I had just watched be created was unbelievable. Seeing the creation of a color before your eyes is beautiful and now, when I use my inks, I think back to that. I think back to the fact that I made these colors myself, with the help of the plants, of course.”

For her exhibit at the Blum Lindsay said the process was pretty simple: she didn’t used any models or photos; everything is directly out of imagination. She started with a pencil drawing, then used her inks/watercolors as a wash or paint on top of the graphite. You’ll be able to see a progression in the pieces as she became more comfortable with the colors and more adept at using them.

For details about the exhibit, please contact Ivy Sienkiewycz at