Art Gallery Features Rochester-Native

Rochester Community and Technical College is proud to announce the opening reception for Within Without, a collection by Jennifer Onofrio Fornes. The reception is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, September 13 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the RCTC Art Gallery, located in College Center 200 across from Hill Theater. The artist will present at 7:00 pm during the reception.

“Issues of mortality and spirituality have been at the core of my studio practice for years,” said Fornes. “Growing up surrounded by a home library of Mayo Clinic medical books spurred my curiosity concerning the physical. Recently, my interest has shifted toward the recognition of physical limitations while searching for ways to transcend them.”

The sculptural work in Within Without continues the investigation of mortality by reflecting on the cultural use of spiritual memorial structures such as stupas, temples, and funerary urns. Fornes adds, “I work to create balance, movement, and symmetry in the sculpture through the hundreds of imperfectly hand-cut stacked, hollowed out, wood circles. The repetitive nature of organizing, cutting, building, sanding, and finishing these circular forms functions as a form of meditation.”

“In the photographic work, the figure is integral, but I am less concerned with communicating a physical likeness as much as conjuring less visible aspects of the subject,” said the artist. “By immersing the figure in ephemeral spaces created in the studio, and through long exposures, I try to touch on the psychological, and spiritual spaces we occupy rather than the physical.”

In both the sculptural and photographic works, the artist states that she is exploring forms that suggest both a sense of presence and absence. Currently a professor of Art and Humanities at Augusta State University in Georgia, Jennifer Onofrio Fornes grew up in Rochester, Minnesota and is the daughter of local artist, Judy Onofrio.

The Within Without exhibition is free and open to the public through October 5, 2018. The RCTC Art Gallery is open 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday.

For further information on this exhibit, contact Crist Dahl at