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Jody Hanson, a local artist and former art preparator for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, makes graceful, meditative paintings using salt as her medium. Hanson’s working process involves dissolving different kinds of salt in water in different ratios, applying dots of the liquid onto white paper in predetermined patterns and waiting for the drops to expand and develop into crystals.

Her pieces are inspired by the circular mandala paintings common in eastern religions. At first they evoke a sense of tranquility, but up close that apparent peace is complicated by the jagged nature of the crystal formations.

“I’m still figuring the materials out, learning what is possible and how to try to achieve certain effects. Working with different papers and boards yields completely different results and I am so often surprised at what happens. For the recent work, I have been working primarily at night because that is a quiet time. The first thing I do when I get up the following morning is see what transpired overnight!”

Several new works by Hanson will go on view in the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University in a solo exhibition, “Jody Hanson: Imperfect,” which opens Sunday and continues through Jan. 12. An opening reception with an artist talk is slated for 3 p.m. Sept. 15. Call 286-8200 or visit www.castellaniartmuseum.org.

– Colin Dabkowski