Keystone College Senior Art Exhibit
Abigail Susan Sweeney
Abigail works mainly with oil paint and graphite on mixed-media paper and birch board. She paints old photographs of family members in order to keep their memories alive and show that the lives of one’s parents, grandparents, and other aging loved ones should be remembered, not forgotten. It has also become a way for her to feel connected to family members whom she has never met, or who are deceased.
I have always enjoyed drawing and painting. I was blessed with parents and teachers that fostered my creativity and encouraged me to explore my interest in the arts. As a teenager, I became fascinated by the human figure. I began to focus my efforts on learning anatomy and drawing portraits. In recent years, I’ve come to enjoy painting photographs of my loved ones, particularly of my parents and grandparents. I want to immortalize them through my paintings.
After looking through old family photographs, I noticed the ink was fading and could be easily scratched away with my fingernail due to age. I wanted to breathe new life into these snapshots by painting them. I didn’t want to shove these photographs back into my attic to collect more dust and fade away. It would be disrespectful to my loved ones to let special moments from their past be forgotten. It’s important to me to focus on the youth of my loved ones. I want people to remember that their parents and grandparents lived vibrant, youthful lives that should be remembered.
When creating my artwork, I most often use oil paints on oil paper and hardboard. I enjoy their blendability and slow drying time. When painting my photographs, I deliberately choose to allow some of the underpainting to show through to evoke the feeling of a fading memory. To further accomplish this, I blend colors softly and do not allow paint to build up too thickly. I believe that this gives an airy, almost dreamlike quality to my work that further evokes the feeling of these moments being memories. One artist who inspired me to start painting is Alphonse Mucha. While he did not influence my current body of work, his work inspired me to start painting figures and appreciate the human form.
Senior Art Exhibition: "Becoming..."
We are the 2021 graduating seniors from Keystone College's Visual Arts program. Join us as we pay tribute not only to the profession as a whole but to the individual artists themselves. Their dedication and hard work have brought them to this launching point in their careers as professional artists.
Location: AFA Gallery, 101 Penn Ave., Downtown Scranton
Exhibit Opening: April 2, 6–9 p.m.
Exhibit on display: April 2–May 1, 2021
Gallery hours: Thursday through Sunday, noon–6 p.m.
CDC rules: Max 15 people, social distancing, and masks required