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Southern Miss’ Gulf Coast Library Presents “Art on Fire”

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 10:02am | By: David Tisdale

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Coast Library is presenting the exhibit “Art on Fire” by local artists Christi Tinker and Adrian Ladner. More than 40 pieces of their work are displayed on the first and second floors of the library through August.

Tinker and Ladner discovered the art of pyrography, or wood burning, when tackling a home project. Fractal wood burning is a process of applying an electrically conductive solution on wood and then applying high voltage electricity through a transformer using two probes. When this electricity is applied, it burns the wood from one probe to the other.

The figures that are created are commonly called Lichtenberg figures or fractal burns. These burns create a lightning-like image that is burnt into the wood. A fractal burn triptych (three panels side by side) on display is highlighted with glow in the dark epoxy, and when hung in the natural light of a window by day will charge so that it glows at night.

Tinker adds color to a fractal burn piece and uses a burning pen to add creative touches. Epoxy is used to fill in color or seal framed and unframed pieces. Paintings created from different colors of epoxy stand alone as works of contemporary art in a style reminiscent of that of famous artist Jackson Pollock. Many are set in handmade white oak frames.

The couple incorporates found objects in their art, such as 100-year-old nails that belonged to Tinker’s grandfather and seashells from overseas, which are encased in clear epoxy, framed by wood reclaimed from Hurricane Michael.

Tinker and Ladner developed “Art on Fire” through many years of trial and error. While Ladner is the engineer and craftsman, Tinker’s artful soul and vision fuels their craft as a team. Their teamwork represents two sides of the spectrum, resulting in beautiful one-of-a-kind works of art.

“Art on Fire” has been shown at the Peter Anderson Festival and various galleries across South Mississippi. Select pieces from the collection are available for purchase by contacting the artists.

For more information, contact Jamie Stanfield at 228.214.3467 or

An artist reception is set for Monday, July 29 from 5 -7 p.m. at the Gulf Coast Library. The public is invited to attend.