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Legally blind ODU grad to open art show, "Peripheral Visions," Nov. 13

One Eleven Art Gallery and Studios, in Norfolk, will open a new show by recent Old Dominion University graduate Kathleen Kridler on Friday, Nov. 13.

Titled "Peripheral Visions," the show will feature some of her contemporary portraits "and some other stuff," she says.

A former graphic designer, Kridler, who was declared legally blind in 2007 as the result of myopic degeneration, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in May. She credits the Virginia Department of the Blind and Visually Impaired, which helped her to enroll at ODU and finish her degree, as well as the university's art department and disability services office.

Due to the onset of her condition, Kridler, who had been the art director for the Norfolk Redevelopment & Housing Authority, was forced to retire from a 25-year career in graphic design and illustration. But she was determined to thrive again as an artist, and experimented with altering her materials.

"I started tearing the paper, disrupting the surface, adding elements," she said. "My work became much larger out of necessity, and much more textural. I tried new materials, which led to new ways of rendering my subjects.

"It's very difficult for me to mix color wet without sticking my nose in it, so I started working with dry mediums and working the wetness in later. It's been a big experiment in what I can do and what I can't, and how to work around it."

Kridler added, "I don't want to be known only as 'that blind artist,' though it has redefined how I work. I hope my work stands on its own, not in terms of being okay for a blind person. I want people to understand that good things often come in disguised packages."

"Peripheral Visions" opens with a reception from 7-10 p.m. Nov. 13, which is free and open to the public. The show runs through Nov. 30.

One Eleven Art Gallery & Studios is located at 111 Pennsylvania Ave., Norfolk, just off Granby Street and across from the Riverview Theater. The gallery is open 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment.

For more information call 625-1110.

This article was posted on: November 11, 2009

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