Feb. 23, 2007
The Gettysburg Campus at HACC celebrates Women's History month with the drawings and paintings of York artist Christine Mercer-Vernon. Her work focuses on body language and the human form, the exaggeration of form as a way to express character rather than beauty, and her own internal experiences as a woman.

The HACC exhibit opens March 12 and continues through April 27. A reception and discussion with the artist is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, at 12:45 pm in Community Room 109 at the HACC-Gettysburg campus. The exhibit and reception are open to the community.

"I am strongly opposed to the idealized perfection of women as portrayed by the media," said the artist. "I make constant efforts to keep figures natural and not shy from imperfections." She also applies the slight nuances of the female form to trees, finding that the body language of the human form naturally combines with the forms and shapes that occur within the trunks and branches.

Mercer-Vernon has a degree in graphic design and more than ten years' experience in the graphics industry. She ended her career as an art director many years ago, choosing to go back to her first loves of drawing and painting and continuing to pursue her fine art career on a full-time basis. Her early focus was on watercolor florals, through which she perfected tedious layering techniques using transparent and opaque layers to create vivid, tightly detailed works of art.

As her drawings began to develop in new directions, she turned to oils as a catalyst. Feeling restrained by her perfectionist techniques, she began to explore a freer style using some of the layering techniques she had developed with watercolors. She continued to experiment and modify her painting style with florals, moved on to fruits and vegetables, and eventually brought to life her own unique style of portrait and figure painting.

Her most recent series have taken on a more internal view of herself and society, and she continues to refine new ways to express emotions, memories and experiences through iconic subject matters. Her techniques continue to evolve, and in her current paintings "much importance is placed on restraining the color palette to reflect the emotion and impact I desire the viewer to perceive. I find this restraint allows me to focus on the impact of each color and setting the overall mood of the piece," she says. More information about the artist is available at her website, www.mercer-vernon.com.

Exhibit hours at HACC are Monday through Thursday 8 am to 8:30 pm, Fridays 8 am to 5 pm, and Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm. (Call to confirm campus open hours for Saturday, April 7.) The HACC-Gettysburg Campus is located at the North Gettysburg Center on Old Harrisburg Road, near Weis Markets and Adams County National Bank. For information, call 717-337-3855 or send an email at the address below.

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