ADRI hosts forensic art exhibition to launch spring programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI) kicks off its spring semester programming lineup with a five-day exhibition of forensic art, Jan. 15-19. ADRI research associate and forensic artist Jenny Kenyon will host the exhibition, "Beyond Bones and 'CSI': The Modern Role of the Forensic Artist," showcasing how the scope, role and education of the forensic artist are adapting to new demands, new technologies and new fields of study.

The exhibit will be open to the public at the ADRI, 16 Borland Building, from noon to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, Jan. 15-19.

Kenyon will provide a dialogue, “Forensic Artists: Modern Methods and Tools,” to discuss the exhibition from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16. She’ll talk about how classical techniques are being melded with high-tech alternatives to create facial reconstructions, composite sketches, and crime scene recreations.

With a master of fine arts degree in theatre design from Brandeis University, Kenyon began her career working as a costume designer, scenic designer, scenic artist and makeup artist for companies including Radio City Music Hall, WPA Theatre, OperaDelaware, Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, Lincoln Amphitheatre, Pennsylvania Centre Stage, and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.

In 2013, she turned her attention and relevant skills in design and illustration to forensic art. After studying in Scotland with Caroline Wilkinson (known for doing the facial reconstruction of Richard III), Kenyon earned her master of science degree in forensic art from the University of Dundee. Since then, she has primarily worked on creating reconstructions for museums.

Kenyon now works in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology at Penn State, University of Virginia and the University of New Mexico, focusing on archeological work, including facial and heritage site reconstructions. She is currently developing the first forensic photography online certification program in the world, which will be available through Penn State World Campus.

“I love when what I do opens up new possibilities of research,” said Kenyon.

“Being part of the visualization process [through reconstruction] that allows people to find connections with people from the past, I think, is really important. You learn to think of people not as bones in a graveyard in a culture you don’t understand, but you might see a boy who is missing a tooth — who maybe had that tooth knocked out — as a real person who may have had the same hopes and dreams that you have.”

Prior to coming to Penn State, Kenyon taught at Bucknell University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Manhattanville College and University of Evansville. 

ADRI provides support for high-impact arts and design research projects. All programs are free and open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, take place in the ADRI, 16 Borland Building.

For more information and to view the full listing of dialogues, workshops and events, visit and connect with Penn State ADRI on Facebook.

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Last Updated January 04, 2018