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ONU art alumnus combines nature and art in Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery exhibit

Laura Barnhardt-Corle's display of grass roots in

Laura Barnhardt-Corle's display of grass roots in "Watercolors; A Grass Roots Project." (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long)

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars” wrote American poet Walt Whitman in his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass.”

Are leaves of grass beautiful? Are they the Earth’s version of stars, providing nature and beauty to its admirers? When springtime arrives, grass emerges from the depths of the dirt’s surface, to spread and provide life for spring and summer flowers. The beautiful green color of the first clean patch of grass is a sign that the winter season has ended, and it is a welcome call for the warmth of the new spring season.

An artist can paint a portrait of any inspirational image, including flowers, oceans, animals, or trees. Every artist is unique and different with his or her passions. For 1977 art alumna Laura Barnhardt-Corle, nature is an inspirational force in her artwork, and the latest focus in her master of fine arts thesis exhibition from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). “Watercolors; A Grass Roots Project” is on display in the Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery inside the Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts through Nov. 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Barnhardt-Corle’s artwork features beautifully crafted botanical watercolors. The detailed displays focus on identifiable images, including tree branches, sticks, bird nests, and grass. The different images show the representation of the varying lifespans of nature’s beauty, with new grass, and old, week strands of green splendor.

One of Ohio Northern’s first fine arts graduates, Barnhardt-Corle proceeded to earn a MFA at BGSU, served as an adjunct art instructor at ONU, and is a freelance artist and teacher, and member of the Findlay (Ohio) Art League. She specializes in painting, specifically watercolors, and exhibits her work at local, regional, and national art shows and fairs, including the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Street Art Fair and the Black Swamp Arts Festival.

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