NEPA Scene Staff

‘Second Nature’ virtual art exhibit combines writing and drawing at Penn College in Williamsport through April 9

‘Second Nature’ virtual art exhibit combines writing and drawing at Penn College in Williamsport through April 9
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From a press release:

An area graphic designer’s 100-day dedication to a drawing and writing practice has culminated in an exhibit at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport. “Second Nature,” featuring works by Sarah Patterson, also offers inspiration on establishing a journaling routine.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Gallery at Penn College is temporarily closed to the general public; however, highlights from the exhibit can be viewed on the gallery’s website. The virtual display shares high-quality scans of the drawings along with supplemental resources, including journaling exercises and prompts. Penn College students will also be invited to consider a journaling practice during the exhibit’s run through April 9.

A mini-exhibit showcasing seven prints from “Second Nature” is also on display in a window at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport.

As part of her artistic explorations while attaining a master of fine arts degree in graphic design from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Patterson researched the subject of handwriting. She began drawing and handwriting each day.

“I picked up a blank book and a pencil to draw on the trail when I went out for hikes,” Patterson explained, adding that she has never thought of herself as a person who draws, but she wanted to explore new artistic terrain.

“I made rules for myself for this daily practice, and every day it grew. Some days, I liked what I drew; other days, it struck me as slightly ridiculous. I kept going,” she recalled. “The writing and drawing create a record of time. It is observational.”

Patterson is rooted in the field of graphic design and works as a graphic designer/project coordinator at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. She earned bachelor’s degrees in elementary education from the University of Maine and in graphic design from Penn College. In October of 2020, she received her MFA from VCFA.

Patterson spent her formative years in the New York City boroughs of Queens (Rockaway) and Brooklyn, Australia, and all around the state of Maine before settling in rural Northcentral Pennsylvania. It took her awhile to appreciate and understand the landscape around her. Years of walking, running, and hiking revealed the details, colors, textures, and seasonal changes. Pennsylvania offers challenging hills and mountains; this landscape has seeped into her work.

This work involves themes of the natural world, motherhood/daughterhood, archiving, memory, and handwriting. She likes the routine of 100-day projects. Working in the face of not knowing the ultimate outcome is the uncomfortable sweet spot where she discovers herself. Trusting the process guides Patterson’s practice.

Her favorite mediums include collage, drawing, and other analog methods of mark making.

A digital thesis describing her handwriting research can be viewed online and is available as part of the “Second Nature” virtual exhibit.

The Gallery at Penn College, an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community, is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art.

Penn College, an affiliate of Penn State, offers more than 100 hands-on applied technology bachelor degree, associate degree, and certificate majors.

The Pennsylvania College of Technology became an affiliate of Pennsylvania State University in 1989 after establishing a national reputation for education supporting workforce development, first as a technical institute and later as a community college.

Today, Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State, committed to applied technology education.

Conveniently located in Williamsport, Penn College attracts the second-highest enrollment in the Penn State system; approximately 6,000 students are enrolled in associate and bachelor degree programs relating to more than 100 different career areas.

In addition, Penn College manages the state’s largest worker training program through its Workforce Development and Continuing Education unit.

The modern Penn College campus offers students hands-on instruction and access to the latest equipment, leading to excellent graduate placement and “degrees that work.”