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Harcum Gallery to Hold Exhibit of Ursula Roma's Art Work

Show Titled 'Found Object Sculptures, Paintings + Prophets'

August 15, 2012

Ursula Roma titled this piece

Ursula Roma titled this piece "Matilda."

Cincinnati artist Ursula Roma describes herself as a “seasoned salvager” whose discarded objects “realize their destiny” as components of her unique artwork.

Wilmington College will hold an exhibit of Roma’s sculptures, collages, pen-and-ink pieces, and acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings in Harcum Art Gallery Aug. 29 through Oct. 20.

An opening reception in honor of the artist will be held Aug. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. Normal gallery hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by special appointment arranged through gallery curator Hal Shunk, professor of art.

Roma collects such utilitarian items as tools, musical instruments and implements of farming, cooking and early computing. She said her re-use of the materials “honors the artisans’ original handiwork,” which is rapidly vanishing with mass production.

“I love to work with found objects, repurposed materials, broken parts, obsolete tools, machine tooling patterns, utilitarian objects, abandoned musical instruments, discarded shapes and various odd hand-made stuff that I think I can use for sculptures and constructions,” she said.

She noted that her artistic process does not require a precise linear planning of each piece.

“The process is more an image of the whole, predestined by its parts,” Roma said, adding that she sees a shape, associates it with something else and then proceeds to transform it into that vision.

“Items such as rusted scrap found in junkyards, flea markets and factories hold the potential to be transformed into pieces of art,” she said. “Garbage night, dumpster diving and basement investigations all turn up inspirational supplies.”

She said her paintings are often “abstracted, whimsical and playful interpretations” of animals and natural settings. Her works have been exhibited extensively in the Cincinnati area, in addition to being featured in shows in California and Indiana.

Roma earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from State University of New York at Purchase in 1987 and a Master of Fine Arts in illustration from the University of Hartford in 2011.

She has pursued illustration, graphic design and fine arts as a career, both as self-employed and working at Little Bear Graphics in Cincinnati.