By Crystal Smith
At Last Which Thrives art gallery by ESU Professor Darlene Farris-Labar has made its home at the Madelon Powers Gallery in the Fine Arts Building until October 3.
At Last Which Thrives kicked off the gallery’s season alongside Hi June created by Chinese artist, Liu June. Professor Farris-Labar, Associate Professor of Art, was able to capture the delicate structure of flowers and plants found in the Pocono region using a 3D printer.
“Working in 3-dimensions offers unlimited possibilities for me to communicate. Artists are no longer tethered to the studio, rather we have a playing field with unrestrained parameters,” Labar said.
Before the printing process began, Labar needed to research the different plants and flowers and then investigate the form and structure of each flower. After the research was gathered, the designs were created.
A 3D design program, Rhino, was used to recreate the colorful plants. “Once the designs were created, I would send the file to printer. Depending on how many designs were combined into a print job, it could take from one hour to around 24 hours,” said Labar. In total, it took over a year for all the research and creation of the project.
Labar hopes that through her artwork she can reveal what currently exists before it is lost from pollution, changing climate, and much more. “Much like 3D field guides, it is my hope that their unique characteristics are heightened and admired by onlookers while also providing education and awareness.”
When the plants were printed, the next step was to color and assemble. Labar used basic glue and acrylic paint. “From the high technology of 3D printing to a more traditional form of materials, these sculptures introduce the contrast of design skill from extremely different levels,” said Labar.
In the future, Labar wishes to research, design, and 3D print more flowers from around the world. “I am also working on a library of 3D plant designs that can be downloaded and 3D printed anywhere,” she said. “I hope to use 3D printers with a much larger build for bigger models and finer detail capabilities. It is my goal to use 3D printing to promote the natural beauty that exists on our planet.”
There is a secret that lies inside the plaster base of each sculpture: “There is a compartment that offers a treasure map that will lead the viewer to these locations. This way, the sculpture can be expanded beyond the gallery walls.”
Labar’s work can be seen free of charge in the Madelon Powers Gallery from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.
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