OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego will offer a free public reception for award-winning poet and artist Rachael Z. Ikins and two students participating in the college’s Downtown Artist Series from 5 to 7 p.m. March 31, at Oswego State Downtown.
Titled “Going for Adventure,” Ikins’ exhibition of paintings and drawings will run from March 24 to May 31 at the branch of Tyler Art Gallery and the College Store at the corner of West First and Bridge streets.
As part of the opening reception, the 2015 Pushcart nominee will deliver a talk on her work, and student poet Megan Debolt and student artist Emily Nestor will make presentations.
Ikins’ artwork has appeared in one-woman and group exhibits in Lipe Art Park, Tech Garden and Syracuse galleries, as well as from Hamilton to Albany and the State Fair. She has published six chapbooks and an upcoming young-adult fantasy novel, all with her own artwork.
“When I draw or paint as when I write,” said Ikins, “I work on imagery that will help a viewer lose themselves in the piece, to participate in the art and to bring my art to their own story or to find a bit of their story in mine. Using fantasy genre as a vehicle I deal with very hard issues, for example abuse and bullying. I bring the same evocative style to the illustrations because my goal is for the viewer to feel connected to the work.”
The Baldwinsville resident added, “Almost all my art has narrative threads running through, whether they are independent abstract collages or illustrations for a book. Nothing inspires me like nature, and as a matter of fact the natural world and living close to it helped me recover my artistic abilities and to heal from an illness.”
Ikins is an officer of the National League of American Penwomen’s Central New York chapter and belongs to Associated Artists of CNY.
Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, contact the SUNY Oswego art department at 315-312-3112.