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Local artists paint pictures of their processes during museum's art talks

On any given nice day, lectures from sun-loving professors can be seen conducted on College Green. Unknown to most students, however,

similar events occur just across the Hocking River. 

“Art talks” have been one of the main programming features of the Kennedy Museum of Art for more than eight years.

The talks began when Ursula Lawson, then-president of Friends of the Kennedy Museum, began bringing in artists for speeches. By 2003, the art talks became a regular part of the museum’s schedule.

The Kennedy hosts the talks in part to introduce lesser-known local and regional artists to Ohio University students.

Art talks take place in a multipurpose room or outside and are presented in a lecture format. The artists usually bring a slideshow presentation about their work and their process with a question-and-answer session to follow.

Beth Tragert, the Kennedy’s administrative associate, said the museum is particularly proud of how casual and intimate the talks are. Audience members often ask questions during the presentations and speak with artists afterward.

This academic year, the art talks start with multimedia artist Lynda Berman and her presentation titled “Passion for Paper.”

Berman, a 1996 OU alumna, is a retired elementary school art teacher, who now teaches in-home art workshops. Berman has been making art since she was 5 years old and has been an exhibiting artist since her 2006 retirement, specializing in a multimedia art form called “paper art.”

“My paper art is paper collages and cut and torn paper,” Berman said. “The paper I use is so unique; people probably haven’t seen it unless they are paper artists.”

Berman also became popular for designing greeting cards. She has exchanged

papers with fellow teachers and artists from Idaho, Kentucky, Scotland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Croatia, Taiwan, China and Italy, according to her blog.

“It adds a whole other dimension when you can share your passion for paper,” Berman said.

Tragert said Berman’s particular style of art will allow her lecture to be particularly audience-oriented as patrons will be able to touch and experience the art firsthand.

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