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Denise Presnell-Weidner
Denise Presnell-Weidner, who retired in the spring as an associate professor of art at Lakeland College, will open her final exhibit at Lakeland with a reception at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.

The exhibit, which will be in the Bradley Gallery in the college's Bradley Fine Arts Building through Oct. 30, will include her newer work along with some old favorites.

The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.

Presnell-Weidner came to Lakeland in 1989 as a member of the faculty and co-director of the Bradley Gallery with her husband, Bill Weidner. She served as chair of the Creative Arts Division and helped lead development of the graphic arts emphasis within the art major.

A prolific professional painter, printmaker and pastel artist, her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. She is represented by professional art galleries in Milwaukee, Mishicot and Elkhart Lake.

Presnell-Weidner said she has been inspired to return to figurative work with the development of new printmaking methods, specifically digital printing, solar etching and polyester plate lithography.

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"My work is a dance between two realities – observed nature and intuition," she said. "Often, the natural world leads, but intuition becomes emboldened by inspiration's desire to take steps in an entirely different direction. I am never quite sure where the dance is leading – which I find exhilarating. My intuition decides when the song is over and waits for the next tune to begin.

Presnell-Weidner said after working with traditional methods for years, she is pushing the boundaries of her art through experimentation.

"This exploration is guided by a desire to think differently about how art is made," she said. "After many years of working in traditional methods where artwork was a flat, singular image, experimentation with new methods of image making has influenced how I put an image together. The methods and motivation are now entwined. I am at a time of shameless experimentation with combining unlike imagery onto substrates of any kind. The frame has become the art.

"I am not interested in 'playing it safe' with my artwork. There were many years when I was not bold enough to allow myself to step outside my own rules. I now challenge myself to dissolve the rules and boundaries that define art."

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