Artist Reception: Saturday, 4/9/16, 3-6pm
Workshop/Talk: Saturday 4/30/16 & Sunday, 5/1/16 and Saturday, 5/7/16, 2:30-5:30pm
Henry David Thoreau said “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”. In a similar way, many of the artists in our exhibition invest themselves in nature, investigating/exploring/ the natural and developing imagery to discuss the effects of our changing climate, as well as social and psychological issues.
THE NATURE OF THINGS, curated by Anne Trauben, features nine artists in 9 gallery rooms including Allison Gildersleeve, Babs Reingold, Beth Dary, Dana Scott, Ed Fausty, Holly Sumner, Kit Sailer, Nancy Cohen, Sandra DeSando.
Allison Gildersleeve spent every summer of her life at her great grandfather’s fishing cabin on a lake in the woods, “a place where family narratives bleed into the surrounding woods”. The emotional overload of this geography informs how she paints her landscapes and interiors. Her woods are viewed from inside, describing an intimacy that is full of chaos and anxious energy. Babs Reingold's current focus is fading beauty reborn, the environment and poverty. The environmental direction is self-evident as years of greed and ignorance spur disaster after disaster to our natural resources. Beth Dary has always lived at the water’s edge. Environments under stress are more than a thematic aspect of her work. The materials themselves have transitional qualities and are subject to interactive and evolutionary change. Beth explores the liminal space between nature untouched by human intervention and the “new nature” we create every day. Dana Scott's work is inspired by natural form and pattern, whether created through time, by man, or in combination. It is about the discovery of beauty within simplicity, and the awareness of detail. The work can be both representational, as well as a re-presentation of its inspiration. It is a translation based in aesthetics, exploration and composition. Edward Fausty says “The rumor is true: there is a milky way!” After exploring the night wherever he found himself over the last eight years, Ed ventured to an area he might never otherwise visit intentionally, but which is much closer to one of true darkness, in rural Utah and Nevada. The resulting group of photographs and the experience of making them represent a dramatic change for his work:nothing but the sky and land. There is an inevitable nineteenth century flavor to these photographs and his experience making them: a religious awe. Holly Sumner became interested in plankton while browsing the scientific libraries in Woods Hole. She is drawn to the beauty of the abstract form, fascinated by the portrayal of the data and interested in the classifications, the ordering and organization of the groups and gleaning a character, personality, individuality from the organism. Kit Sailer paints the landscape of the western Catskills where she has a home. Her works represent selected views from the four mile walk around her “block”. Kit is interested in how the form of the land determines what is forest, field or pasture; how cultivation and wilderness are separated or mingle and how roads divide, unite and guide one’s experience. Nancy Cohen is interested in the juxtaposition of fragility and strength evident in our personal lives and our broader environment. Under that overarching idea her recent work falls into two categories– work that references the fragility of our natural environment developed through both a scientific and personal study of waterways and through collaborations with scientists and environmentalists, and work that is more about the individual navigating a perilous world. Sandra DeSando works acknowledge the environmental changes– both deterioration and beauty occurring at the same time in the world. “I sit in the woods in the fog and rain looking for philosophic and scientific mishaps and channel those thoughts to paper. I bring into consciousness the muddle of ecological disasters that is this moment in time. My images are an amalgam of photo-realist colored pencil drawing, painting, and stencils. I expose the hand of man that brought us to this place of ecological disasters and seek to redress the balance of nature.”