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Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise: An Artist’s Journey

January 17 - May 29, 2011

In Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise: An Artist’s Journey, Gale Fulton Ross utilizes a multifaceted approach to describe her journey from confusion and despair to self-forgiveness, enlightenment, and artistic freedom. Her first-person visual narrative is loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, an epic poem written in the 12th century. Like the protagonist in Dante’s poem, trusted historical luminaries, Aunt Jemima and Sojourner Truth, guide Ross through the inferno of Hell, the misery of Purgatory, and the ecstasy of Paradise. Visitors follow Ross’s story by viewing her stunning works of art, reading short descriptive labels designed to make them think about their own lives, and by enjoying a multimedia presentation of her work. When the viewers reach the end of the exhibition, they are invited to cast out their own burdens, by writing them down and leaving them at the door of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.