YSU prof to exhibit paintings at Butler

Staff report


An exhibition of paintings by Dragana Crnjak, associate professor of art at Youngstown State University, opens Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., and runs until Nov. 5

Titled “As if Staying,” the show will feature 13 paintings inspired by images of patterns found in Serbian embroidery, architecture and various works of art Crnjak gathered while visiting Serbian Orthodox medieval monasteries during her sabbatical in 2015.

Through the process of manipulation and enlargement, Crnjak takes these images and enlarges them on to a landscape-like field to create abstract art.

The shifting and drifting geometries, dissolving and interrupted patterns take a pattern and make it into something abstract, while also weaving together traditional and contemporary visual elements, transforming familiar images into something new.

Crnjak has exhibited internationally, nationally and regionally in locations such as Mexico, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Columbus.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. A meet-the-artist reception will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Born in Yugoslavia, Crnjak received a master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is based in painting and drawing. She received the Individual Excellence Award in visual arts from the Ohio Arts Council in 2008, 2011 and 2015.

Crnjak has taught at the University of Virginia and the Cleveland Institute of Art.

The Butler is open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. It is closed Mondays.

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