Dublin, OH

Dublin Arts Council to host exhibit of 60 collages created by Ohio State alumna

The Lantern
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A collection of Denning’s recent collages on display at the Dublin Arts Council. Credit: Preston Harmon

The Dublin Arts Council will promote environmental awareness by exhibiting the 60 collages of Ohio State alumna Nan Penney Denning through June 2.

The free exhibit, at 7125 Riverside Drive in Dublin, Ohio, is entitled “Collage: The Art of Recycling.” It can be viewed by making an appointment online and visited from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, David Guion, executive director of Dublin Arts Council and Ohio State adjunct faculty member, said.

Each collage is 11-by-14 inches, containing images from everyday materials like magazines and advertisements with the theme of recycling, Denning said.

“There are so many good images that come to us in magazines, in advertisements, and we pitch it, but we’ve got all these symbols and images,” Denning said. “There’s dogs, there’s cats, everything; flowers, plates and furniture. And that was just such a source of these images.”

Denning has produced over 1,000 collages since 2010. Denning said each collage intentionally has no title to give the audience a chance to reach their own conclusions.

“I do these very intuitively. I’m not saying something with them,” Denning said.

The Dublin Arts Council has hosted two prior exhibitions, including one that featured 100 portraits by Dutch artist Berry van Bokel, “The Top 100 2021,” Guion said.

“We’re hoping people come out and become more aware of the gallery and the Arts Council, but also be mindful of the environment,” Guion said. “We have hundreds of miles of green space, so we’re hoping that it ties right into the environmental awareness that the city hopes to offer.”

Prior to earning a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Ohio State in 1969, Denning was interested in art because her father, a hobbyist artist who attended drama school at Yale University, Denning said. Denning had been interested in collages for decades, and said she started by making cloth collages from scrap cloth.

“I’ve always had an element of collage in my work,” Denning said. “When I was in graduate school, I was painting but every now and then I would slap an image in it from someplace else.”

Denning has had work exhibited in the Columbus Museum of Art, Capital University’s Shumacher Gallery, OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and more, she said.

“I enjoy having people see it but I can’t say that’s my driving force,” Denning said. “My driving force is just making it, you know, enjoying making it. But yeah, I’m happy to show it and the Dublin gallery is really nice because it’s good for small size work.”

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