Exhibition preview: “Art as Contemporary Folklore” explores contrast of historical and modern

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From the July 31, 2014 edition

Local artist (and Cleveland native) Maria DiFranco is recreating history in her latest exhibition, “Art as Contemporary Folklore.” DiFranco uses etching, painting and graphite drawings to depict the world as she sees it. DiFranco, who earned her undergraduate degree in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently a graduate teaching assistant and MFA candidate at Ohio State University, presents works infused with political symbolism.

This is exemplified by a bright orange and pink piece depicting a woman’s fallopian tubes as if they were conversation bubbles. In another, giant wild buffalo fade into a field now dominated by sharp sketches of electrical towers. Looking past the amazing intricacy of each piece, viewers will soon come to the realization that the power of DiFranco’s work lies in the contrast of historical America and modern implications.