Thinking outside the Nott: New art installation series features printmaker

Publication Date

Flying squirrels, owls, bears, deer and assorted other creatures, both airborne and earthbound, land at Shaffer Library this week when New York City printmaker Aliene de Souza Howell creates her "In the Forest" installation.

This forest landscape is the first in a new installation series aimed at turning the library into a learning laboratory by bringing the visual arts into public spaces.

De Souza Howell will install her artwork over four days, Monday through Thursday, in the Learning Commons.

“The Commons is a hub of activity, and we hope to have ideas about art percolate there,” said Julie Lohnes, curator of Art Collections and Exhibitions. “Everyone who’s walking by – students, faculty, staff, members of the public – will see the creative process as it’s happening. They’ll be able to interact with the artist on an informal basis.”

Lohnes and College Librarian Frances Maloy want to entice viewers to appreciate that art can breathe and live outside the confines of a conventional gallery space.

De Souza Howell, who studied at the New York Academy of Art, specializes in linocuts, a printmaking technique that involves carving linoleum. Her work also incorporates cut and torn paper, and charcoal on paper. She uses the linocut with repetition “to suggest movement, create doppelgängers, swarms of animals and brush” as she explores links between nature and humanity while creating the illusion of a forest.

Each individual piece in the installation was inspired by people, experiences and images with which de Souza Howell was familiar. She has described it as “a sort of visual novel made up of personal history and reflections wrapped within histories and potential futures of the earth full of dark and light.”

De Souza Howell will give an artist talk Friday, April 4 during Common Hour (12:55-1:45 p.m.) in the library’s Learning Commons. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

Her work will remain on view until next March.

Along with the library installation, there will be a solo exhibition of De Souza Howell’s work in the Mandeville Gallery in the Nott Memorial. “In the Forest” opens Saturday and runs through May 11. The opening reception in the Nott is set for Wednesday, April 2, 5-6:30 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit and programming, click here.