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“Pulling Hearts Don’t Make For Better Teeth,” a printmaking show featuring the works of Joseph Lappie, is on display in Ashford University’s Cortona Art Gallery through February 24. A reception for Lappie is planned on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 3-4 p.m. in the gallery with a brief artist talk at 3:30 p.m.
Lappie is an associate professor of art at St. Ambrose University, teaching book arts, printmaking, and papermaking. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, and his art books appear in more than three dozen special collections across the country, including Yale, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin. He received a BFA in painting and a BFA in graphic design from Ball State University and an MFA in interdisciplinary book and paper arts from Columbia College Chicago.
The February exhibit at Ashford includes prints as well as wood printing plates.
“These are basically the blocks of wood that you carve onto and print off of. They have been cut down to become their own art objects,” said Anna Pagnucci, Ashford art professor and Cortona Art Gallery director. “The wood becomes stained with the printer’s ink and they become really beautiful and vibrant.”
“In this body of work, I use a procession of different characters to explore both cultural and personal narratives,” Lappie said. “To me, the recall of memory is the afterlife. As long as there is someone who remembers you, you still live; you live in an amorphous, ever-changing cloudy space with everyone else the memory-holder knows. If the memories are pleasant, you are in heaven. If not, you’re in hell. However, thoughts are tricky and fluid. They change. They manipulate. Memory expands and contracts based off of time, hype, fear, and love.
He said that many of the characters in the exhibit “are marching through a process of forgetting, burying, or exalting.”
The Cortona Art Gallery is located on the second floor of Ashford University’s St. Clare Hall at 400 North Bluff Boulevard in Clinton. The gallery is named for Sister CortonaPhelan, OSF, former president of Mount St. Clare College (MSC) and former president of the Sisters of St. Francis. For many years, Sister Cortona influenced the quality of education at the college through her teaching of American history and her love of the arts. She also served as MSC Academy principal and as dean of students at the college.
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