A new exhibit will be on display at the Gadsden Museum of Art during First Friday. Derek Cracco, an associate professor of printmaking and computer graphics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will display his “Moments in Love” gallery on the museum’s second floor. The exhibit features a mix of traditional printmaking, digital images and painting that incorporate photographs from health magazines from the 1950s and ’60s.
“The imagery challenges the viewer to consider the ideals promoted by pulp publications, and to compare them with the realities of their own lives and the concepts of romantic love,” Cracco said of the exhibit.
By showing the physiques that people are exposed to in media, he makes the viewer question how they compare themselves to those bodies and how that impacts who they look for in a mate.
A prominent part of Cracco’s exhibit is a floor-to-ceiling collage printed on wallpaper. The design features circles of all sizes, some of which contain vintage magazine images and old newspaper headlines and others that show pieces of galaxies and faraway stars.
Cracco said that he migrated to using wallpaper because in most cases, printmakers are limited by the size of the press they are using. By creating a wall-sized piece, he said, it adds to the universal feel he aims for in his work.
The artist said he has been printmaking for about 30 years and this gallery started taking shape in 2012.
Cracco’s exhibit will be on display alongside other current galleries at the museum, including the 61st Annual Juried Show hosted by the Gadsden Art Association, Christopher Jordan’s “Still Waters” photography gallery and Evelyn L. Brannon’s “Crossing Genres” gallery.
The opening reception will be held on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. during downtown Gadsden’s monthly First Friday event. Light refreshments will be available.