Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Alumna blurs line between art and science at Lycoming College Art Gallery

Alumna blurs line between art and science at Lycoming College Art Gallery

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Lycoming College will host Laura Brennan ’15 for an exhibition entitled, “Of These Unknown” in its downtown art gallery, beginning May 31 and running through June 29, with a gallery talk on May 31 at 5:30 p.m.. The gallery will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5-9 p.m.

Brennan says that we associate human memory with photography because they each contain information from the past that we recall in the present. Unlike archival photographs, memories are ephemeral. The details fade, and we are left with unclear outlines of our past experiences. Snapshot photos make it easier for us to recall a moment, but they do not coincide with the ambiguous information we visualize in our minds without the photograph as a visual aide.

“Of These Unknown” is an alternative photographic exploration creating visual answers to abstract questions. It challenges our perceptions of reality and addresses the transient state of human memory through inaccessibility and complete loss of content over time.

Materials and experimentation play a large part in the process of creating these photographs. The unprocessed photograms fade to a solid uniform color the longer they are exposed to light, losing any evidence of the image. The Polaroid emulsion layers over itself, obscuring the photo’s content, and the manipulation of the silver nitrate solution of a tintype creates alternate realities. The abstract photos present the viewer with an intricate representation of the state of our memories unlike any unaltered photograph.

A native of Ashland, Pa., Brennan received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2018, and has been blurring the lines between art and science ever since. With a dual major in art and biology, she intertwines her passion for traditional and alternative process photography with scientific themes such as memory loss and recall. She currently lives in Las Vegas and teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The Lycoming College Art Gallery, located in downtown Williamsport at 25 W. Fourth St., contributes to the city’s arts culture and provides a way for the College to become more involved with the community surrounding it. Lycoming art students have the opportunity to interact with visiting artists, as well as learn first-hand the inner workings of a gallery. For more information, on the Lycoming College Art Gallery, please visit: or send an email to

To support academics at Lycoming College, including the arts, please visit to make a gift to the Lycoming Fund.

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