Final Friday Jan. 27 at Newman Steckline Gallery presents ‘Lightfast’ prints by Sarah Sanford

The Newman University Steckline Gallery will present “Lightfast” by Sarah Sanford as the fifth show of its 2016-2017 season. The exhibition of prints, which begins with a Final Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, will be on display through Feb. 17. Both the reception and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.

An “Art for Lunch” presentation by the artists will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31 from noon to 1 p.m. in the gallery. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can also bring their lunch. This event is also free and reservations are not required.

Sanford combines photography, printmaking, drawing and installation to create hidden worlds of biological landscapes and scientific abstractions. Sanford said her practice focuses on exploring the physical nature of light. She is interested in the ephemeral and ethereal aspects of light as a means for studying time, space and chance. By refracting light through various surfaces, Sanford generates seemingly random, yet ordered patterns of light relating to forms present in the natural world.

She captures these transient images through digital photography. Incorporating the process of photo-silkscreen with various digital techniques, Sanford uses the contrast between darkness and light to create abstractions of space reminiscent of both natural and human landscapes. Her images reference medical scans, x-rays and microscopy as well as celestial bodies. She is interested in creating ambiguity within her work whereby the viewer connects with it on an aesthetic level, but is unable to fully commit to a singular interpretation, she said.

The exhibition will focus on her most recent body of work, Lightfast, which explores the passage of time as an annotated linear experience, as well as a series of memories. Layered images of prints on Japanese Kozo paper and film give the illusion of a portal into mysterious landscapes. By contrast, her screenprints on treated paper seek to capture the elusive nature of light; highlighting single moments of time spent and gone.

Sanford was born in Michigan in 1974. She received her Master of Fine Art in Printmaking from the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland in 2003. Her prints have been featured in galleries internationally, including the Rubicon Gallery in Ireland, Euroart Gallery in London, and a number of galleries in California.

Sanford has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Chalmer-Jervise Prize from the Royal Scottish Academy. Her work was also featured in The California Printmaker journal in 2009 and 2010. Sanford currently lectures in the Art Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. She also has a studio called Sunlit Seriagraphs in Bonny Doon, Calif.

The Steckline Gallery is located inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus, 3100 McCormick. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2199.

This article has been updated Jan. 12, 2017.

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