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"Double Entente" at the James W. Palmer Gallery, explores human themes behind recent world events. September 22-October 14, 2006

Poughkeepsie, NY — In her new mixed-media installation Double Entente, Monica d. Church explores how modes of human behavior change in response to exterior forces over which people have little control. With the threat of a global pandemic by the H5N1 Avian Flu virus as an example, Church's piece comments on the World Health Organization's recent suggestion that human-to-human greetings (kisses, handshakes, high-fives, or hugs) be eliminated in favor of an "elbow bump."

Double Entente will be exhibited Friday, September 22, through Saturday, October 14, in the James W. Palmer Gallery of the College Center at Vassar College, with an artist's reception at the gallery on Tuesday, September 26, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

"Until 2001, I was fully engaged as an abstract painter, exploring universal themes such as the loss of a loved one or the birth of a child. After 9/11, I began to feel that painting wasn't enough," said Church. "With global terrorism, Darfur, the political climate in America, the war in Iraq, I felt helpless and irrelevant. I began considering work that was not painting. I started with an exploration of desire and control that became my first installation, "Sirens", in 2004. For the first time, I created and exhibited representational digital images, sound, and mixed-media sculpture. The break from abstract painting to photo-based imagery has proven a catalyst for new work."

Among the many elements Church uses to evoke "double understanding," as suggested by the title of her installation, she has crafted thirty small knobs with intricate mosaic designs made of cracked eggshells. "At first glance they're beautiful, then when you get closer you see cracks and fissures. Your instinct may be to touch them, but what germs or diseases do we have to fear picking up from a doorknob? I think there's a high level of denial among Americans. Underneath the surface of things that look good there are often real problems," she said.

Mid-twentieth-century Kodachrome transparencies are Church's source material for the two-dimensional imagery in Double Entente. She also incorporates etchings, antique picture frames, archival Giclee prints, bars of soap, wishbones, vintage suitcases, and a Japanese birdcage, among the varied elements of the installation.

Monica d. Church's paintings and photo-based prints are widely exhibited, and in many private collections, including those of Binney and Smith, Manugistics, the Southern Vermont Art Center and The University of Kentucky Art Museum. The Chapman Friedman Gallery, Louisville, KY and Burton Marinkovich Fine Art, Washington, DC, represent her paintings and works on paper. Among her honors, she has received both The Steven Madwed Memorial Prize for Photography or Digital Art, and The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Best in Show Award, at Art of the Northeast USA (Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, CT). She began her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, has a BA in Visual Arts (1987) from Bennington College, and an MFA (1993) in Painting from the University of Kentucky. Her teaching experience includes Community College of Vermont, University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, Marist College, Vassar College, State University of New York at New Paltz, and Dutchess Community College, and in 2003 she was a teaching artist for Dia:Beacon.

For Palmer Gallery hours, or to arrange accommodations for people with disabilities, call the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, September 8, 2006