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Exhibit displays supernatural works

Associated Press Modified: January 28, 2011 at 3:46 am •  Published: January 28, 2011
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"Phantoms, Shadows and Phenomena" will creep into Athens tonight at the Kennedy Museum of Art, which is opening new video and photo creations to the public. The pieces explore the balance between reality and illusion to the human eye.

The exhibit, organized by Kennedy Museum curator Petra Kralickova, includes work from eight artists. Their mediums range from photography to video and their hometowns span the globe from Great Britain to Brussels, Belgium.

"We're drawing on so many different artists from so many different places," said Beth Tragert, administrative associate at the Kennedy Museum. "We're drawing from all over the world and bringing the work here."

One of the featured artists is OU art professor Laura Larson. Her exhibit, "Asylum," depicts the paranormal phenomena surrounding legends of women's dormitories at the old Athens State Hospital at The Ridges.

Larson first captured the images while working as a visiting professor at OU. The idea of shooting in The Ridges was one of the main reasons she came to Athens, she said. Larson's exhibit first debuted in 2005 at the Lennon, Weinberg gallery in New York City.

In photographing the asylum, Larson used a traditional large-format view camera, which can produce clearer, blown-up negatives.

Larson said she wishes there were greater inspiration behind "Asylum," but it was mostly the accessibility of the former Athens State Hospital that led to the accidental association with her work.

"I want to say it was organic development - but it was more of a happy accident," Larson said. "I got access to the dormitories."

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