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June 14, 2013

Norman artist exhibits work at state capitol

NORMAN — Ginna Dowling hasn’t always been a professional artist, but when her life turned upside down she turned to creativity to provide her solace.

Now the Norman resident and former communications professional turned printmaker is exhibiting her work at the Oklahoma State Capitol East Gallery through June 23.

“I was so fortunate I had do-overs, I could reinvent myself and had the support of friends and family,” she said about becoming a professional artist.

Dowling grew up in a creative household and was continually surrounded by the arts, including works by her mother Polly Hammet and aunt Virginia Cobb, both nationally recognized artists. When Dowling left home, she felt a need to define herself outside of art and received a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in public relations and professional writing.

A change in her family life prompted Dowling back to art, where she rediscovered printmaking. She described the process as a release and spontaneous.

“It just happened and everything was very biographical,” she said. “It was so powerful that I just did my art for me for awhile.”

At this point in her life, Dowling decided it would be “criminal” for her to not pursue her artistic talents. She returned to school at the University of Oklahoma where she recently received a Master of Fine Arts.

The work on display at the Capitol, titled “A Printmaker’s Perspective: A Life Told in Layers,” represents a decade of Dowling’s work including monotypes and woodcuts.

Dowling hopes viewers of her capitol exhibit learn to appreciate printmaking a little more from viewing her work.

“They are one of a kinds and it is a form of art that’s as exciting for even non-artists as something like painting,” she said. “And anybody can do it, you really don’t have to have a press.”

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