Looking at Marilee Salvator’s work is like peering into a microscope, where a world of amoebas and protozoa swim by the lens. Salvator is fascinated by nature and biology.
Her body of work, Circles, draws inspiration from repetitive mark making, biological forms, and plant life. The exhibit is a formal exploration of shape and pattern. Cells are of particular interest to her.
“I’m intrigued by their ability to reproduce, mutate and spread uncontrollably,” she said.
In her exhibit, Circles, Salvator explores cells and their beautiful forms, shapes, and patterns. At the same time, she said, “I find it fascinating how something so detrimental as cancer, can look so beautiful under a microscope. In our world, things often appear one way, but upon closer examination, are completely different.”
Circles, an exhibit of mixed-media intaglio, digital and watercolor images, opens May 4 in Fairbanks Hall.
Salvator borrows the patterns of these forms and or shapes from their current context and incorporates them into her own abstract language. The most important image making process she employs is layering.
“Layering allows the work to slowly reveal it’s self to me,” she said. “I admire the beauty of transparency and rich textural surfaces I can create through this process. I see a connection between my working process and the various levels of the human experience. Nothing can truly be understood through one experience (one layer) we must look at things over time and through various perspectives to truly understand their significance.”
Salvator’s interest in patterns and prolific growth extends to her gardening practice.
“Vines are a true love. These plants tend to have a life of their own, given the space, they will fill it, over take it, wrap around, creep and crawl up whatever gets in their path,” she said. “Seeds and flowers are fascinating due to their repetition; a sunflower head is a wonderful example.”
Salvator received her BFA (honors) in printmaking from Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois in 2000 and her MFA degree in printmaking from University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2004. She currently resides in Bloomsburg PA where she is an Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Two-Dimensional Design at Bloomsburg University.
In the last five years, Salvator’s work has been exhibited in over 30 exhibitions throughout North America and abroad. She recently had a solo show titled Ring Around The Rosie at SNAP Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta. Other recent exhibitions include 5th International Biennial of Miniature Art, Warszawa, Poland, 2008 Pacific States Biennial, Hilo HI, Printmaking Today: International Print Exhibition and Competition, Abruzzo, Italy and Stampa D’ Arte, Fondazione Bevilacquq La Masa, Venice.
Fairbanks Gallery is open weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibit concludes on May 27.
For more information call 541-737-5009 or see http://oregonstate.edu/fairbanksgallery
You can also find out more about Salvator and her work by exploring her Web site at http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/msalvato/index.html
~ Douglas Russell