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Composing Nature

By Carol Brévart-Demm


Bounty, 2007, mixed media on paper mounted on linen.


Refuge, 2008, mixed media on paper mounted on linen.

Artist Andrea Packard ’84 describes her images as being not so much about static places as they are states that are ephemeral, dynamic, and subject to change. (listen: Packard discusses her life as an artist)

In a solo exhibit in March at the College’s List Gallery—which Packard has directed since 1995—visitors were treated to a sampling of Packard’s richly textured collage works on paper and panel, in which fragments of prints, papers, and fabric are combined with pastel, gouache, and acrylic. Resulting from observation and an experimental collage process, the works were inspired by New England and Mid-Atlantic woods and wetlands that have been threatened or destroyed by development. Far from being literal representations of their subjects, Packard’s art explores and evokes nature’s power to inspire, hinting at the way natural forms, relationships, and perceptions change with the passage of time.

“In a world dominated by mass-produced imagery, I am fascinated by art that resists memorization and rewards a searching gaze. Many of my works look more naturalistic at a distance but offer a strikingly different experience up close where the cultural resonance of the material takes precedence. I’m curious about how distinct ways of experiencing the world can co-exist,” she says.

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