Exhibit features Sue McNally’s self portraits, landscape paintings

“Do What You Must Do,” an exhibition of mixed-media self-portrait drawings and large-scale landscape paintings by Sue McNally, will be on display in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery Feb. 14 through March 20.

The campus community and the general public are invited to attend an opening reception and artist talk on Thursday, Feb. 14. The reception will run from 5-8 p.m., while the artist talk will be held at 6 p.m. in the DiStefano Lecture Hall.

For nearly 25 years, McNally has developed two divergent bodies of work simultaneously. This exhibition marks the first time that her pursuits as a painter and draftsman are brought together in a gallery installation.

McNally’s oil paintings explore her personal and physical connection to the American landscape. Through her fusion of representation and abstraction, her visual fascination with nature evolves into an extraordinary travelogue. It’s a dynamic sense of place informed by observation and memory, research and photography.

By contrast, McNally’s drawings are quick, gestural responses to a familiar form, her own image. They are inventive self-studies that push the materials of drawing to express the human condition. Together, these works on paper and canvas reflect a tremendous passion for image making in the present.

McNally grew up in Rhode Island and currently lives in Newport. She received her BFA from the University of Rhode Island and MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout New York and New England and can be found in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Newport Art Museum and Fidelity Investments.

McNally received a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts professional artist development grant in 2012 and a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fellowship award in drawing and printmaking in 2011. She is currently participating in a landscape painting project funded by USA Projects. Over the next 2-3 years, she intends to make paintings that represent all 50 states.

The gallery is handicap accessible with parking along Lawrence and Leroy avenues. Its exhibits are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

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