“Diversity” by Diane St. Jean.

DOVER, N.H. — The Art Center is hosting an exhibit in January and February called “Shadow & Light” and featuring the work of Barrington artist Diane St. Jean.

St. Jean is a printmaker exploring collagraph prints and letterpress. Despite the care and patience required by the process, there is also the element of surprise, according to a new release from the center.

It is impossible to know exactly what a print will look like until the inked plate is run through the etching press under heavy pressure on dampened paper. St. Jean describes this unpredictability as “magic.”

“For my collagraph plates, I use recycled or found objects combined with acrylic gloss varnish or matte medium. I often use food packaging material, such as milk cartons, for the plates, and I’ll add bits of paper, foil or mica,” St. Jean said.

Her letterpress work is focused on social justice issues.

“I still believe in the power of the printed word, and the physical process of creating a message with wood type on a vintage press is very satisfying,” St. Jean said.

The Art Center’s online gallery of St. Jean’s work can be seen at www.theartcenteronlinegallery.com/diane-st-jean.

“Shadow & Light” will be on display through February with a reception on Feb. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the artists reception for The Art Center’s worldwide printmaking exhibition. The public is invited to attend.

The Art Center is at 1 Washington St., Suite 1177. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit www.theartcenterdover.com or call 603-978-6702 for more information.

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