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Making her point

  • Artwork by Jacquelyn Gleisner at the Sharon Arts Center gallery in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Artwork by Jacquelyn Gleisner at the Sharon Arts Center gallery in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Artwork by Jacquelyn Gleisner at the Sharon Arts Center gallery in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Everything old is new again, and nothing is permanent. Artist Jacquelyn Gleisner’s new exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery in Peterborough makes important statements about the fleeting nature of art and the importance of not letting things go to waste. Plus, it gets student artwork into a fine art gallery — in a manner of speaking, anyway.

Gleisner, an artist and teacher lately of New Haven, Connecticut, collected student work from her middle-schoolers that would have otherwise been relegated to a recycling bin when the final grades were in.

“They can work really, really hard on a painting or a drawing and it comes time to take it home and they just throw it out,” Gleisner said. “You can make it something more meaningful and more beautiful than just throwing it into the trash.”

Gleisner sculpted the paper into a rainbow of triangles, pyramids and spikes which now issue forth from every edifice of the gallery’s main entrance.

In some ways, the project is a continuation of the 1970’s “femmage” movement, popularized by Miriam Schapiro and Melissa Meyer and practiced locally by the likes of Meg Rogers and Jane Simpson. That practice, a portmanteau of feminism and collage, often centers around repurposing found objects into new pieces of art.

“The spirit was of inclusion and putting people’s work in a fine art setting that might not necessarily make it there on their own merits,” Gleisner said.

Aside from the student work, the artwork is assembled from some of Gleisner’s own, repurposed paper from a previous project where she unrolls giant painted scrolls in public places. The mere act of unfurling them was performative, as passersby would show concern about displaying artwork in a back alley or on a snowbank — opening up a dialogue about the impermanence of art.

“I feel like the things that we make, we shouldn’t be too precious about, because nothing lasts forever,” she said.

The show is open now through mid-September, with an opening reception on Friday, Aug. 18 from 5-7 p.m.