As a fine art major at Flagler College, Kathryn D’Elia was known for creating works that pushed boundaries and explored unusual thinking.
It began with strips of wood that were meant to be used for another painting, and evolved into a piece that was in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Called “Winter to Spring,” the unique portrait made up of a series of 50 small paintings on a 7-foot-by-1-inch strip of wood, is the creation of ’03 alumna and Assistant Professor of Art Sara Pedigo.
In the summer of 2006 it was selected for the first-ever Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition to go on display at the Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., along with 49 other pieces.
Although she didn’t receive any monetary prizes or place in the top spots for the competition, Pedigo said just to be exhibited in the Smithsonian is “reward enough.”
She painted Winter to Spring as an exploration of a new form.
“I started working with portraiture at Flagler,” she said.
She got the strips of wood to frame another painting, but quickly decided it could actually become a canvas for a different take on a portrait.
“I was interested to see what would happen when individual paintings were connected together as a whole,” she said. “I wanted to experiment with a different approach to portraits.”
She worked “back and forth, from memory to photo,” trying to “turn mundane family snap-shots into spaces for memorial and longing.” The paintings, mirrored by a set of intricate graphite drawings, have a bucolic feel to them.
“I like playing on the idea of nostalgia,” she said. “Everyone has that image of their parents living a carefree youth, but as a child you never see them that way.”