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Art exhibit explores potential effects of a particle accelerator
"Detail of Monolith" will be on display as part of "Large Hadron Collision: New Works by Matt Rebholz," a printmaking exhibit on display through Sept. 17 at North Georgia college & State University in Dahlonega.

‘Large Hadron Collision: New Works by Matt Rebholz'

When: Through Sept. 17
Where: Bob Owens Art Gallery, North Georgia College & State University, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega
How much: Free

Texas printmaker Matt Rebholz, assistant professor of printmaking and drawing at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Tex., explores what could happen if fact and fiction collide in "Large Hadron Collision: New Works by Matt Rebholz," an exhibit on display through Sept. 17 at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega.

Rebholz won Best of Show at the 2008 Southern Printmaking Biennial at NGCSU, competing against artists from across the nation, which gave him the opportunity for this solo exhibition.

The show focuses on a particle accelerator currently being developed near Geneva, Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider, and what would happen if scientists "turned it on."

Art Gallery Director Ana Pozzi-Harris said Rebholz's pieces feature the results of common speculation about the collider's potentially deadly effects, including scenes like an abandoned ship and the collider itself surrounded by a black hole.

"It is a scientific experiment, and there are wide speculations on what would happen if someone turned it on," Pozzi-Harris said. "The artist tries to work on those (popular) myths."

Pozzi-Harris said Rebholz doesn't believe the myths, but was interested in how people reacted to the collider being built.

"He simply takes a stance and comments on it," she said. "It's a commentary on the social situation."

Pozzi-Harris said Rebholz "pays a lot of attention to detail," making his work technically impressive. "The works are extremely polished. The prints come out so clear and crisp. He's obviously very, very skilled technically."

Pozzi-Harris said there are many advantages to printmaking.

"The most important one is that you can make many," she said. "You do have one plate, but then once you apply the ink and put the paper on top, you can make many, many prints."

But, she added, prints don't always turn out exactly alike.

"The basic layout will be alike, but then they can be different," she said. "It depends on the age of the plate, and it depends (on other factors.)"

Rebholz's techniques, intaglio and chine colle, involves using wax and acid to create plates that will be used to make prints.

"You first mark the lines on the wax, and then you expose it," Pozzi-Harris said. "You aren't carving on the actual metal.

"What you are seeing in the exhibition is a print and the print is a copy of the plate."