Many of us have always been fascinated by the wonders of the world around us. Among the many things in our world that have captured the interest and inspired the imagination of artists across time and space, are the stars. With new scientific discoveries being made all the time, one artist has used these discoveries to shape her representations of the world around us.
Margaret Schnebly Hodge is a professional artist who studied art in Florida. She earned her Associates in Arts degree from Daytona Beach Community College (what is now known as Daytona State College), later earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida School of Art and Art History.
Exploring the gallery, one can see several of the works Mrs. Hodge has created for this exhibit. However, the full exhibit is comprised of over 30 pieces. Carefully selecting the works that are displayed, Mrs. Hodge chooses the pieces to show based upon the location. Some of the factors that play a role in her decision include the space at the venue as well as the colors that are used in the various works.
After viewing her work in the gallery and speaking with her, it’s clear how much time and effort goes into each piece. Each work seems to possess its own sense of personality and vitality. She enjoys experimenting with a variety of mediums and creating pieces that might be considered mixed media. She incorporates metal frames and cable to create what she calls a sort of, “stage, like a theatre, in which the paintings are installed.” For a painting medium she prefers oil on canvas.
“A common thread in my work is the connectivity, interactivity, and energy of all things. Science tells us all things are energy and only perceived as material,” she explained. She later went on to say that she’s always had an interest in art. “Drawing came naturally to me as a very young child. I don't recall an age in my life where I was not creating something.”
Mrs. Hodge explained that she doesn’t keep track of how long it takes her to work on her paintings, and that she often works on several projects at a time when she paints. Over time, she builds up the layers of paint upon the canvas. Perhaps it is this detailed, thoughtful, and dedicated approach that causes her paintings to have such contrasts between dark and light and the impressive saturation of color they display.
“New scientific discoveries about the cosmos, theories on its beginning and its end, and the knowledge that human make up contains similar material from the universe offered me a natural nexus to use space as a reference for this series. I work instinctively,” she said. “For this series I read a lot and watched many videos then put all that aside as I began the work. My goal was to feel like the particles of space, to feel like explosions, floating, expanding, and contracting. These are not paintings to me. They are energy materialized in the form of paint on canvas.
To find out more about Mrs. Hodge and her work, you can visit her website at https://www.margarethodgeart.com/. There, you can find out more about her exhibitions, a link to her blog, as well as her contact information, and more.
“This traveling show by an alumni of the state college system has been shown in 5 major venues, including 4 state colleges and will be traveling to its 5th, the St. Johns River State College, Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts mid April,” Mrs. Hodge explained.
The current exhibit can be viewed from now until April 19th, 2017 at the Rao Musunuru, M.D. Art Gallery at Pasco-Hernando State College. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
It is located within the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library at the PHSC West Campus. The address is 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654. For more information about the gallery or information about extended and/or seasonal summer hours, be sure to call 727-816-3231 and visit them online at phsc.edu/gallery.
All exhibits are presented at no charge to the public.