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Saint Meinrad Archabbey Library Gallery, St. Meinrad, IN, will host an exhibit by visual artist Michael Nichols titled “Surface Matters, Frescoes, and Silverpoints.” The exhibit opens on March 3, 2024, and runs until April 13, 2024.

Nichols specializes in creating ghostly images using traditional painting and drawing techniques. His work delves into contemporary applications of two ancient mediums: metalpoint drawing and buon fresco painting.

Nichols pushes the boundaries of traditional fresco imagery. Historically, wealthy patrons or institutions expressed their authority through frescoes installed in a permanent architectural setting. In contrast, Nichols makes portable frescoes that appear to float off the wall. As foundations, he uses a variety of contemporary materials including Styrofoam and magnesium oxide panels. In an allusion to graffiti art, Nichols pioneered the technique of painting frescoes with an airbrush.

Drawing in silverpoint is also an ancient and demanding technique. Much like the delicate strokes of graphite drawing, silver creates a subtle mark on textured surfaces. Over time, the metallic residue undergoes oxidation, transforming the initial cool tones of the drawings into warmer hues.

Nichols has exhibited his artwork both internationally and across the United States in venues such as the Boston Center for the Arts, the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, and the Huntsville Museum of Art. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Fontbonne University. He resides in Bowling Green, KY, where he serves as a professor of art at Western Kentucky University.

For library hours, call (812) 357-6401 or (800) 987-7311, or visit the Archabbey Library’s website: https://www.saintmeinrad.edu/library/library-hours/.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Those wishing to view the exhibit may want to arrive at least 30 minutes before closing time.

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