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Thursday, January 28, 2010.

“Sun etching” technique to be featured at AVC solo exhibition Feb. 9-26

A technique of systematically burning through layers of paper to create images will be featured in Antelope Valley College’s Art Gallery when it hosts a solo exhibition by Austin Straus, Feb. 9-26.

Sun Etching Art

The exhibition, “Burnworks: Paintings, Collages and Artist Books by Austin Straus,” will provide a look into Straus’ work that utilitizes what he calls “sun etching,” a labor-intensive process that creates images of surprising precision, spontaneity and richness, according to show curator Christine Mugnolo.

The gallery is located on the college’s Lancaster campus in the Fine Arts Building, FA1, 3041 W. Ave. K. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-9 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to the exhibit, an artist’s reception and reading of poetry by Straus will be held 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.

A high desert resident, Straus has a perse career as an artist and poet. His work can be found in the collections of the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry in Miami, the Athenaeum in La Jolla, Otis Parsons in Los Angeles, and Mills College in Berkeley.

His poems and illustrations have appeared in art, literary magazines and anthologies including: Alcatraz 3, Artweek, Black Bear, Caliban, Grand Passion, Jacaranda Review, Poetry Flash, and Red Dance Floor.  

Known as host of KPFK radio’s “The Poetry Connexion,” he directed the show 1981-1996. He has two books of poetry published by Red Hen Press, “Drunk with Light” and a January 2010 release, “Intensifications.” Strauss created the cover art for both books.

Mugnolo compares the experience of viewing art by Straus to reading an elaborate script. Deep scars and eerie sculptural forms are burned through layers of paper, reversing the additive process of collage.

Straus invokes his Jewish heritage in describing his burn works and sun etchings as “visual reversals of the book burnings that characterized Nazi Germany – a tribute to the Holocaust dead.”

For more information on the gallery call (661) 722-6300, ext. 6215.