Hochendoner’s Paintings Suggest a Dreamy Obscurity

by April C. Davila

The college campus was invited to attend the opening reception of Mary Hochendoner’s paintings on Thurs, Sept. 29. The exhibit ran from Sept. 8 to Oct. 14 in the Bogigian Gallery located in Lortz Hall. Her work has a dreamy obscurity that Hochendoner says, “appears and disappears suggesting the reality of emptiness.”

Capturing dreamy obscurity on canvas

This is an opportunity to come and experience creative work and listen to the artist speak first hand. She is one of many guest speakers to visit. Her work has a dreamy obscurity that Hochendoner says, “appears and disappears suggesting the reality of emptiness.”

Surrealistic expectations

The majority of her paintings are inspired by the late Edwin Dickinson. Dickinson, a surrealist painter, worked from the late 1800s until his passing in the 1870s. His art was largely based on representation. He would then incorporate other aspects of what he saw, like a change of light, roughness or roundness, which inspired Hochendoner. Like Dickinson, she integrates what she sees one day to the painting she is working on, after weeks away. Her finished works are developed pieces that she says, “surprisingly head out in one direction and find its ways to see space and air in different dimensions.”

One of her well recognized paintings is called “Chair,” a pencil sketch directly inspired by Dickinson. When she attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, she had an opportunity to see the actual chair that was used in Dickinson’s chair photo. In fact, she says, she was so profoundly moved in seeing the actual chair from Dickinson’s photo that she sat with a pencil and notebook. She comments that she was, “unaware of time I made a sketch of the actual chair.”

Opening connections between artist and audience

The opportunity to visit and speak on campus is an open “connection that artists have” she says. The popular art in the 1960s was abstraction, but Hochendoner continues to narrate abstract paintings through “everyday life inspirations,” she says.

“Some can say that I stand out, but I give the credit to my inspirations and my teachers.” Maya Schock, says Hochendoner, is “the one who taught me how to paint,” she says, and she gives full credit for the “connection to my passion.”

Hochendoner will speak about the atmospheric ambiguity that her paintings represent at the reception.

Fine Art majors are encouraged to attend. Lindsey says, “It can be difficult to culminate with other artists, but everyone is encouraged to come out. This is an opportunity to grow and experience the great work of someone who has a great story to share…she has talent…these are great paintings.”

During the art exhibit, light refreshments will be served. Hochendoner will discuss her artwork and painting process. All works of art are for sale. Hochendoner hopes all attending leave with an understanding that, “Art is an expression; it’s our salvation, for our survival.”


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