Saturday, January 22, 2022

Journeying to "Dreamland"


Title image for "Dreamland"

This month, the University of Redlands department of Studio Art presents Dreamland, an exhibition of prints and video works by Penny McElroy.

A mixed media artist, graphic designer and Professor of Studio Art at University of Redlands, McElroy developed the exhibition during her recent sabbatical.

Many of the pieces are machine-produced through risography, a decades-old printing technique enjoying a resurgence among contemporary artists. Popularized by the Japanese company Riso in the 1980s, risographs are known for their vibrant, sustainable inks and economical production value. Many printers, churches and schools came to rely on risography in the era before affordable desktop printing; in the digital era, the method has evolved into "an equally modern and nostalgic experience." [1, 2]

Other pieces involve paintings on translucent rice paper pressed over a video background to produce a composite, continuously shifting image. Like the risographs, these works immerse the viewer in a drama of light and shadows. As bold colors intermingle, McElroy's evocative titles invite viewers to contemplate multiple layers of meaning.  

In her exhibition statement, McElroy relates her use of light and shadow to the many journeys that await her viewers - travel across time and space, or perhaps deep within oneself. "Shadow and light, inextricably linked - each necessary for the other to be. In dreamland, these are not opposite concepts, but rather more like the front and back covers of that favorite novel. When we enter it, we are immediately elsewhere..." [3]

Dreamland runs January 18 to February 6, 2022 at the University Art Gallery. The opening reception will be held Wednesday, January 26 from 4:30-6:30 pm. Face coverings and proof of vaccination are required in keeping with University of Redlands health and safety protocols. 


[1] Brown, Evan Nicole. "The Vintage Japanese Copy Machine Enjoying an Artistic Renaissance." Atlas Obscura, August 21, 2018,

[2] "Hi, My Name's Riso, I'm Here to Help You!" Creative Review 32, no. 10, October 2012, 38-48. Art Full Text. 

[3] McElroy, Penny. Personal correspondence, January 17, 2022.

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