An expanse of artwork relating to reality and abstraction enriches the walls of the Carson Main Gallery at Western Nevada College this fall. â€œAnna Wagner: Drawings and Printsâ€ exhibit is in the Carson City Campus Main Gallery Monday, Oct. 13 through Friday, Nov. 7.
Wagner has taught Visual Foundations, Drawing and Printmaking at the college.
â€œWhile her work is grounded in drawing from life, Anna has a unique approach that allows her to freely move between observed reality and different levels of abstraction,â€ said WNC art director and art professor Gil Martin. â€œWe’re excited to be able to show a significant body of her work in both drawing and printmaking.”
Religion is a theme that Wagner touches on in some of her creations for this exhibit. In fact, the centerpiece of Wagnerâ€™s exhibit, â€œStony Ground,â€ was created through a sculpture project in Ohio. From a biblical parable about salvation coming to those “the ground” who receive the message, Wagner made a sculpture that interprets that â€œsalvation is not attainable for those who are considered â€˜stony groundâ€™. â€œ
Wagner said she was inspired because of the selectivity of salvation.
â€œThe idea that salvation may be offered only to some people and not others troubles me and was the basis for this body of work,â€ she said.
Wagner used discarded materials such as bones, garbage, tinsel and pieces of broken furniture to build the figurative kinetic sculptures for â€œStony Ground.â€ She then installed these sculptures so the natural forces of gravity, wind, rain, snow, heat and animals animated them to autonomously inscribe marks onto copper etching plates.
â€œThese plates were covered with a sensitive coating called a â€˜groundâ€™ that documented the sculptureâ€™s act of creation. The results of these inscribed marks are printed alongside my own rendering of each figure,â€ she said.
The sculptures remain where Wagner installed them in rural Ohio.
â€œAlthough the materials used to create them and the areas in which they are installed are easily overlooked, I hope that when considered in this context, they might be seen in a different light,â€ Wagner said. â€œIn the process of making this work, I have found that I cannot equate discarded with worthless, ordinary with expendable or â€˜stony groundâ€™ with irredeemable.
Wagner received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Art History from the College of William & Mary and Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from Ohio University. Her artwork has appeared at Brown University, the Kennedy Museum of Art, W.M. Keck Museum in Reno, the College of William & Mary and El Minia University in Cairo.