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Maura Sheehan was inspired by Texas light to create exhibit at Nave Museum

By Camille Doty
March 15, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2012 at 10:15 p.m.

Maura Sheehan constructs a Mylar floor similar to the Pantheon in Rome for her exhibit at the Nave Museum. "Opposites Attract" is a conceptual art show that transforms the museum into a camera. "It's very much an experience," she said. The New York City native designed this display specifically for the Crossroads.

IF YOU GO:

WHEN: 1-5 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, 1-8 p.m. Thursday through May 6

WHERE: The Nave Museum, 306 W. Commercial St., Victoria COST: $1 - $2

FOR MORE INFO: Call 361-575-8227 or visit victoriaregionalmuseum.com

Maura Sheehan has traveled the world. But there was something about the Texas light that fascinated the New York City native.

"The landscape of Victoria popped my eyes open and blew my mind," she said.

Sheehan paid homage to the Lone Star state by creating a site specific show. The conceptual show, "Opposites Attract," will run from Friday through May 6 at the Nave Museum.

Sheehan said the museum's neo-Classical structure is comparable to the Pantheon in Rome.

Art supporters helped to transform the windowless museum into a walk-in camera.

The light and images are captured at the front door and are funneled and focused through the Nave and projected on the back wall, according to the news release.

"It's going to be one of the most complicated and detailed exhibits in Victoria," said curator Ann Harithas.

Spectators will begin their experience at the front door. Sheehan designed a floor similar to the European structure with circle and square shapes in the tiles.

Instead of marble, she used Mylar to reflect on the walls. She said the natural darkness of the Commercial Street building is the perfect place to channel light and demonstrate its visceral attraction to the dark.

"It's the reconciliation of opposites," she said. Notes from Leonardo da Vinci and photographs of the Roman temple are also part of the exhibit.

In the last room and using a six-second time delay, a video of people entering the museum plays on the wall.

"If people go straight to the back, they will be able to see themselves," said the conceptual artist.

Sheehan was first introduced to art when she was 4 years old. It's been her life's work to share with others.

"It's imperative to give the gift and pass it on," she said.

The San Francisco Art Institute graduate started the Manhattan Art Program 15 years ago. Students get a chance to channel their creative energy during their out of school time.

The Big Apple program expanded into Victoria in 2007. Budding artists will get a chance to work with the program instructors every Saturday during the exhibit.

The workshops will teach students how to make sun prints and silhouettes with the use of natural light.

Sheehan said she wants art lovers of all ages to take in her unconventional artwork. "It's not a traditional show. It's very much an experience," she said.

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