Images of fanciful birds dressed in colorful fine clothing
depicting their individuality and personalities are the basis of A Much Curious
Coop, the latest art exhibit now on display in the library on the South
The current collection features the work of Nitro resident Staci Leech-Cornell, a versatile artist and sculptor, who has had her work displayed in numerous shows and exhibitions. The exhibit will be on display through Oct.21.
Leech-Cornell’s collection is the latest in a series of exhibits showcasing the work of local artists on the South Charleston campus. Mark Tobin Moore is the exhibit coordinator for the show, which is sponsored by the Graduate Humanities program.
A graduate of Marshall with a B.F.A. and M.A. in Fine Arts, Leech-Cornell, who is also the Community Learning Center Manager for the Clay Center, says she began drawing and sculpting birds at a low point in her life. They provided a path through that low point and into a new set of ideas and imagery for her artistic creations, she says. Her bird images continued to evolve until they took on varying personalities and characteristics that make them all different and distinctive.
“The works in A Much Curious Coop represent the new appearance my bird imagery has become,” Leech-Cornell says. “I dress these birds in fine clothing, dresses or sometimes suits. I never really have the chance in my life to play ‘dress up’ on many occasions and I find that when I do have the opportunity it’s one that I don’t particularly care for, but I love dresses and I adore suits. These birds allow me to play ‘dress up.’ ”
All the works are created by drawing with pen and ink, with added folded or cut paper pieces.
“The characters are created as the drawing progresses. Any slips of the hand or blops of ink sometimes help to determine what pattern the feathers may take, the length of the beak, the age of a face, and so on,” Leech-Cornell says. “The drawings are presented in family or formal portrait style mainly because those are moments in my mind that people tend to ‘dress up.’ This is something that would happen in A Much Curious Coop.”
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