September 13, 2021 Duc Tinh

Second Nature Exhibit flyer“Second Nature,” featuring works by graphic designer, Sarah Patterson, is available for viewing at the Gallery at Founders’ Hall from September 13th through October 8th. Featuring a Virtual Evening with the Artist on Thursday, September 30th.

A graphic designer’s 100-day dedication to a drawing and writing practice is on exhibit at The Founder’s Hall Gallery. “Second Nature,” featuring works by Sarah Patterson, also offers inspiration on establishing a journaling routine.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Gallery at Founders’ Hall is temporarily closed to the general public; however, it is open to our campus community of faculty, students and staff. Northwestern’s students are invited to consider a journaling practice during the exhibit’s run through October 8. All are welcome to join us for a “virtual” evening with the artist via WebEx from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 30.

As part of her artistic explorations, while attaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), Patterson researched the subject of handwriting. She began drawing and handwriting each day.

“I picked up a blank book and a pencil to draw on the trail when I went out for hikes,” Patterson explained, adding that she has never thought of herself as a person who draws, but she wanted to explore new artistic terrain.

“I made rules for myself for this daily practice, and every day it grew. Some days, I liked what I drew; other days, it struck me as slightly ridiculous. I kept going,” she said. “The writing and drawing create a record of time. It is observational.”

Patterson is rooted in the field of graphic design and works as a graphic designer/project coordinator at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in elementary education from the University of Maine and in graphic design from Penn College. In October 2020, she received her master of fine arts degree from VCFA.

Second Nature Exhibit Founders Gallery PhotoPatterson spent her formative years in the New York City boroughs of Queens (Rockaway) and Brooklyn; Australia; and all around the state of Maine before settling in rural northcentral Pennsylvania. It took her a while to appreciate and understand the landscape around her. Years of walking, running and hiking revealed the details, colors, textures and seasonal changes. Pennsylvania offers challenging hills and mountains; this landscape has seeped into her work.

Her work involves themes of the natural world, motherhood/daughterhood, archiving, memory and handwriting. She said she likes the routine of 100-day projects. Working in the face of not knowing the ultimate outcome is the uncomfortable sweet spot where she discovers herself. Trusting the process guides Patterson’s practice.

Her favorite mediums include collage, drawing, and other analog methods of mark-making, she said.

digital thesis describing her handwriting research can be viewed online and is available as part of the “Second Nature” virtual exhibit.

For more about the exhibit and virtual evening with the artist, please contact Deb Kline at

Virtual Evening with Artist Sarah Patterson, Hosted by Deborah Kline
Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 6:30 pm | 1 hour | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Meeting number: 2622 371 2373
Password: j9Wy8T5pUmi

Join by phone at 1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Access code: 262 237 12373