The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Teachers give 19th century artist new life in NW exhibit

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

Dandelion Circle Grey, Jo-Ann Mulroy
Photos by Martina Treviño/The Collegian

Star Circle, Jo-Ann Mulroy
Photos by Martina Treviño/The Collegian

Two local artists found beauty in old illustrations and created new modern artwork.

Jo-Ann Mulroy and Linda Guy both used 19th century researcher and illustrator Ernst Haeckel’s drawings of cells in their artwork for the show Nurture/Nature on display through Feb. 12 in the Lakeview Gallery on NW Campus.

“I like the idea of taking a dated image and recycling it,” Mulroy said.

Mulroy, who teaches at Fort Worth’s Trinity Valley High School, did this by taking a portion of a cell or several cells Haeckel had drawn and by using different glass techniques to create original art.

For “Blue Orbit” and “Pink Orbit,” she etched the design into colored glass plates, then filled the etchings with ink.

For “Circle Window #1,” Mulroy used sandblasted glass to reverse the normal viewing routine because she wanted to make people really look at it, she said.

Normally, the farther away a viewer stands, the less distinct the image. But because the sandblasted glass only allows viewers to look through scattered circles of clear glass, the viewer must stand back to get a good look through the “window.”

Guy, a Texas Christian University art professor, uses a computer and printer to combine Haeckel’s work with hers. She starts by scanning her drawings and other objects into a computer.

Radiolaria Print No. 6, Linda Guy
Photos by Martina Treviño/The Collegian

“These were manipulated and combined with a Haeckel print,” Guy said.

The work is printed on inkjet paper with more layers of screen-printing added on top.

“In most of the finished prints, about 10-25 percent of Haeckel’s print remains visible,” Guy said.

Guy gives Haeckel full credit for his part in her work.

“I consider this effort a collaborative one, even if it was done with a long-ago deceased artist,” she said.

System No. 10, Linda Guy
Photos by Martina Treviño/The Collegian

Unlike each artist and Haeckel, Guy and Mulroy didn’t collaborate while they created this show, Mulroy said. They even developed the idea for their work separately. Mulroy had been thinking about creating something like her pieces for a while when she saw Guy’s work.

“She was doing what I had in my head,” Mulroy said.

During the time they were developing the show, they only made about one studio visit each, Mulroy said.

“We didn’t talk to each other much,” she said.

Though Guy had taught Mulroy at TCU, their artwork never had anything in common until this show, Mulroy said, and their approaches and reasons for these pieces remain different. Guy took the academic route, researching Haeckel and his illustrations. Haeckel, an early advocate of Darwin’s theory of evolution, believed the world was structured.

Star Circle, Jo-Ann Mulroy
Photos by Martina Treviño/The Collegian

“His works represent an earlier scientific view of how to look at nature,” Guy said. “I wanted to end up with a more contemporary view of nature that would include our acceptance of chaos.”

Mulroy’s approach to her work was simpler.

“I’m thinking about how beautiful these things are and how to organize them and make them more precious,” she said.

The Lakeview Gallery is open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. A closing reception is scheduled from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 12 with Artist Talks at noon.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian