‘To the Moon…’ exhibit continues through July 26 at library
Pen and ink artist Jen Dunham’s “To the Moon…” exhibit at the Woodford County Library features several drawings with full moons representing seasons of the year. “I have done the moon series before,” said Dunham. “This is actually the third rendition of them because I have exhibited in Frankfort with the whole moon series …” Her Rich Gallery exhibit, which continues at the library in downtown Versailles through July 26, also includes other art associated with the moon and larger universe. Like her previous art show at the Woodford County Library in 2016, “Black, White and Read,” Dunham created pen and ink art on 3-by-5 cards from the library’s card catalogue, which has been replaced by a computerized system. “I get ideas while I’m doing these things by looking at the library cards,” said Dunham. She said her pen and ink, “The Lonely Graveyard,” was inspired by author Neil Gaiman and his Graveyard Book series. “I specifically put that tombstone (in a place on my drawing) so that his initials (on the library card) would be on there.” “Most of them are drawn,” she continued, “so that certain elements of the cards will show through.” To incorporate images about book titles and authors on the library cards she uses as her canvas, Dunham said she only uses some elements of Zentangle, not the Zentangle Method (of drawing structure patterns) in its truest form. The Versailles artist also incorporates color elements – not just black and white – in her art. “I started doing color,” explained Dunham, “because everybody wanted color.” Some of her art has more color than others, but she’s no longer wedded to using only black and white. “I kind of like the black and white,” she acknowledged, “but the color’s growing on me because everyone says, ‘Oh, I love the color. I love the color.’” Using specific colors to represent different zodiac signs led to that positive reaction and her transformation as an artist, she added. Asked what it’s like to see her artwork hanging on a gallery’s walls for an exhibit, Dunham said she and most other artists “don’t see all their work all together until they do a show and then they’re so amazed, ‘Wow, I did all this?’ Because you’re just working on one piece at a time …” The former stained glass artist, who also manages the library’s Rich Gallery, said she enjoys doing pen and ink because all she needs to create her art is “a little desk.” Dunham, who has worked at the Woodford County Library since 1991, said she was running out of 3-by-5 library cards when “a huge box” of the cards was recently discovered by Director Karen Kasacavage in the library’s basement. For her, finding more library cards was like Christmas in May. Dunham credits the Kentucky Arts Council for helping her understand how to “get my name out there.” She has several shows lined up, including an exhibit of her artwork featuring mystery writers, “Read Between the Lines” at the Lexington Public Library in September 2020. An introduction to that series – “12th of Never” – is one of the pen and ink drawings featured in her current art show at the Woodford County Library.