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Aristotle believed “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Photographer Justin Nolan might be his spiritual heir.

Much of Nolan’s photography explores the power that staged spaces possess in evoking human desires. Art lovers can behold a sampling of these emotion-stirring scenes Friday, April 1, 2016, during a small reception at Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla.

The exhibition, “Model Civilization,” from his “Stages of Persuasion” series, channels Nolan’s captivation with the extraordinary dramas resonant in ordinary spaces.

JustinNolan_10 Nolan, a lecturer of photography at the University of Central Florida puts it this way: “Idealized and overt notions of nature, beauty, and even fear are presented in many of the themed restaurants, stores, and amusement parks …. In my images, devoid of people, the viewer becomes the audience to the absent narratives in these stages of persuasion.”

The University of New Mexico Art Museum’s permanent collection, the University of Wisconsin’s Union collection, and the Arizona State University’s Northlight Gallery feature Nolan’s work.

The reception is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Kristin Michelle Mason Art Gallery, 103 East Main Street, Leesburg.