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Artist blends ancient and contemporary symbols for new meaning

November 13, 2013

WAUKESHA, WIS.—As an American artist in China, Peggy Thurston Farrell was struck by the symbols that surrounded her. She said, “While traveling, I couldn’t help but notice the ubiquitous use of symbols. There were symbols for birth, death and good luck found on clothing, jewelry, calendars, placemats, buildings and public transportation. I began to take note, collect and ponder.”

“Digital Mandala” is a silkscreen, collage and watercolor combination that is part of her Symbols series. It was selected for the juried “Watercolor Wisconsin” exhibition at the Wustum Museum of Racine Art Museum, 2519 Northwestern Ave., Racine. The show will be displayed Dec. 15, 2013 through April 26, 2014, and an opening reception is Sunday, Dec. 15, from 2-4 p.m.

In her series, Farrell explores the relationship between ancient and contemporary symbols. She said, “As I silkscreen and collage layers of images from many parts of my life and travels, and repeat the symbols again and again they create something more. New symbols emerge and challenge how and what we see.”

Farrell is an associate professor of art at Carroll University. She has Master of Art and Master of Fine Arts degrees from UW-Milwaukee. She received the Women of Distinction Art Commission Award in 2010 from the Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County and a Waukesha Public Libraries Commission Award in 2008. Farrell’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout Wisconsin and the United States, and at the Saitama Museum in Japan.

“Watercolor Wisconsin” is a statewide competition organized by Racine Art Museum annually since 1966. The artists are encouraged to experiment and explore all the possibilities of painting on paper. The Wustum Museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday except for federal holidays. All visits are free and open to the public.

Digital Mandala 

“Digital Mandala” by Peggy Thurston Farrell


Contact: Jess Owens 262-951-3104

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