Category: Eco-Art

Art Televised: Mary Merkel-Hess on PBS’s Craft in America

Craft in America

Mary Merkel-Hess on PBS series Nature, Craft in America

This month, the PBS series, Craft in America, will premiere its episode titled “Nature,” which features profiles on internationally acclaimed artists who use dimensional art to explore nature’s marvels. Among these visionaries is fiber artist Mary Merkel-Hess, a participant in browngrotta arts’ upcoming exhibition, Still Crazy After All These Years…30 years in art, slated to run from April 22nd through April 30th at the browngrotta arts’ barn/gallery in Wilton, Connecticut.

A native of the Midwest, Mary Merkel-Hess’ home state of Iowa represents the creative force behind many of the art pieces she fashions. By drawing inspiration from the area’s prairie elements, including its vast fields of grass, corn, shrubs and herbs, she creates dimensional art pieces that translate her experiences and familiarity with the Midwest and its unique aesthetics. In fact, many of her abstract pieces are inspired by the images she captures and masterfully replicates from the prairie garden surrounding her home and workshop.

In Chephren's Temple

In Chephren’s Temple, Mary Merkel-Hess

Working with fiber and other materials, such as paper, wood, reed, and acrylic paint, Merkel-Hess creates what she refers to as “Landscape Reports,” fiber vessels that provide a sense of place and containment for the viewer to experience and enjoy. Her process involves building upon layers of paper with careful insertion of reed or cord, creating a mold that is then shaped and painted. Her fiber sculptures illustrate Iowa’s abundance of tall grass, fields and open green space, allowing others to bring a piece of the Midwest, as well as Merkel-Hess’ inspirational prairie garden, to their home.

Airing Friday, April 21, 2017, “Nature” will highlight Mary Merkel-Hess’ creative process, as well as that of other artists, sculptors and woodcarvers whose dimensional artwork challenges audiences to reassess their relationship to the natural world. Check you local PBS listings. You can view more samples of Merkel-Hess’ fiber artwork at http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/hess.php.


Art Assembled: Featured in January

We had four New This Week selections in January, including evocative sculptures of black willow and recycled aluminum plate and two works that offer commentary on current events.

Christine Joy January New this Week

40cj Smoke Ring, Christine Joy
willow with black encaustic, 23″ x 22″ x 12″, 2014

Christine Joy sources, harvests and then transforms willow into dramatic sculpture. Smoke Ring represents a new direction for Joy, she says, “more looseness and movement on the edge, visually, of coming apart, more exploration of added color to give unity and emotional depth.”

Merja Winqvist January New this Week

11mw Water Lily, Merja Winqvist
recycled aluminum plate, 26” x 25.75” x 1.75”, 2016

Merja Winquist of Finland has created a stylized and shimmering Water Lily of recycled aluminum.

Ceca Georgieva January New this Week

14cg The Iron Curtain, Ceca Georgieva
burrdock burrs, 19” x 16” x 5” 2016

In Iron Curtain, a sculpture of burdock burrs, by Ceca Georgieva of Bulgaria, a figure seeks escape from a web of red threads. The work is about Georgieva’s generation, who remained n Eastern Europe after World War II on the Red side―the Communist side―of the Iron Curtain. “As children,” she says, “we proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, and we believed whatever we were told to believe. Our future was programmed and seemed to be clear and beautiful. When cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain and news from the West slowly filtered into the country, we learned about beat poetry, rock ‘n’ roll, blue jeans and Coca-Cola. We started to feel the lack of freedom and the desire to go out and to live without fear of restriction and deprivation. Then the wall fell down. Now, 25 years later, we are still in front of the half-open curtain, making efforts to get rid of the red iron threads.”

Norma Minkowitz January New this Week

66nm Are We The Same?, Norma Minkowitz, mixed media, 12” x 28” x 26.375”, 2016

Are We the Same? by Norma Minkowitz, also addresses societal change, in this case, assimilation. “My thought was about our society and how, as time goes on, we intermingle and intermarry, ” says the artist, “and at the end we are a combination of many different genes and DNA and perhaps are eventually blended in some way.” Enjoy our selections.


Art Al Fresco: Gyöngy Laky and Chris Drury Create Environmental Art

Chris Drury, The Wandering, Environmental art installation drawing

Chris Drury, The Wandering

In May, Chris Drury began work on The Wandering, an environmental work of art commissioned by the State of Western Australia for the site of the new Perth Stadium, sited on the south bank of the Swan River, overlooking the city to the west. “The work is a meandering dry-stone wall which emerges from a stone whirlpool on the isthmus of the lake to the south, winds its way north in a series of loops, and descends again into the earth on the higher ground, “ says Drury. It appears to have no beginning or end, arising from the high ground in the north and plunging into the stone whirlpool to the south (or vice versa). The wall is 190 meters long and covers a distance of 90 meters as the crow flies.

Chris Drurys The Wandering being built

Chris Drury The Wandering under construction, photo by Chris Drury

This structure, however, is no ordinary wall, for it will be built as a Cornish dry-stone hedge, which is a growing, living thing: a miniature ecosystem and biodiverse habitat. In the UK some of these walls have stood for a thousand years because they are constructed with an earth infill, allowing plants to grow and give rise to habitat for insects etc, eventually binding the structure together. Here in Perth, I adapted the work to the Western Australian climate by planting the wall with indigenous drought-resistant plants, which will be irrigated.” You can see more images on Drury’s website: http://chrisdrury.co.uk/the-wandering/.

Gyöngy Laky Rope-Polcenigo-Caneva Italy

Gyöngy Laky Rope-Polcenigo-Caneva. photo by: Francesca Giannelli (6/12/16)

In May, Gyöngy Laky was a Special Guest at Humus Park, International Biennale V of Land Art, with a collaborating artist, Paul Discoe, northeast of Venice, Italy. Humus Park is Italy’s most important Land Art event. The Land Art is an artistic form using natural materials. Some of its numbers: 13 days, 3 locations, more than 80 artists from 13 countries all over the world, 8 art schools and academies involved. Laky was there for two weeks working onsite. “ Arriving in magical Polcenigo I heard its water symphony… beautiful, clean blue/green water flowing everywhere,” Laky says. “The sound was intoxicating and it explained the verdant green foliage all around. The sun was warm and bright. It was an awe-inspiring place. And, later when it rained and rained, it was still beautiful and I understood even more about the invigorating water gushing from the mountains.” Laky and Paul Discoe, who she invited to be her art partner, very quickly agreed on a project. “We both have worked extensively with trees and materials from trees,” explains Laky, “and we also both share a deep interest in shimenawa – rice straw ropes used in the Shinto religion to adorn sacred places. We found a magnificent tree overlooking the water and reflecting in it. We wanted to honor it. We decided to make rope from the hay provided to adorn the tree. It occurred to us that we were engaged in making something that was, probably, similar to what the ancient inhabitants of that lake dwelling site most likely made also. Rope making with plant fiber dates back to prehistoric times. We were connecting with the land and its history in, yet, another aspect.” See the artists at work at Humus Park on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vwJg1ZYATw&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop. You can also see — and own — smaller scale works by Gyöngy Laky and Chris Drury in Green for the Get Go: International Basketmakers, at the Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey through June 26, 2016. All the works are for sale and we have additional works on our website. For more information: http://www.morrismuseum.org/current-exhibitions/.

Gyongy Laky Pordenone-wheelbarrow Italy

Gyongy Laky Pordenone, photo by Pat van Boeckel, Rerun Produkties, Holland


Art in the Barn 2016: Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career, Wilton, CT, April 30th – May 8th

photo includes work by Merja Winqvist, Jiro Yonezawa and Włodzimierz Cygan

photo includes work by Merja Winqvist, Jiro Yonezawa and Włodzimierz Cygan

In less than two weeks, browngrotta will open its 2016 Art in the Barn exhibition, Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid Career. This year’s exhibition brings together “baby boomers,” 33 artists born between 1946 and 1964, who are mid-way into their lives of making art. We’ve asked them to provide us work that is reflective; work that tells us where they’ve come from or where they hope to go; work that illustrates influences, roads not taken, and the like. Or, work that reflects on being a boomer, perhaps— part of the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time and the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve. It was a generation that created music and literature in the 60s and art — including fiber art — to describe the change this generation was determined to bring about.

14cg The Iron Curtain, Ceca Georgieva, Burrdoch burrs,19" x 16" x 5", 2016

14cg The Iron Curtain, Ceca Georgieva, Burrdoch burrs,19″ x 16″ x 5″, 2016

The results are contemplative and thought provoking. Ceca Georgieva’s sculpture, The Iron Curtain, reflects her life in a Communist and post-Communist state. Karyl Sisson’s In Stitches, harkens back to her family’s past in New York’s Fashion industry — her grandmother made hats and beaded bags in New York’s lower East side; her mother spent 25 years as a buyer for the specialty store Bonwit Teller. For Lewis Knauss, this stage of his career means seeing unrealized ideas (sketches, notes, photos) and failed work in a new light. “I am happier with chaos,” he says, “the way I need to give up a bit more control of the outcome, flaws and in nature, the beauty of disaster. I guess it is acknowledging the approaching wall. I enjoy working at my pace rather than a deadline enforced one, allowing things to just happen, evaluating the outcomes as I finish each work. Keeping and discarding.” The Artist’s Opening for Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career is Saturday, April 30th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The hours of the exhibition from May 1st through May 8th are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — just call if you’d like to come by earlier or later: 203.834.0623. browngrotta arts’ contemporized 1895 barn is at 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT 06897. For more information and a complete list of artists visit browngrotta.com: http://www.browngrotta.com/Pages/calendar.php. A catalog, Artboom: Celebrating Artists Mid-Century, Mid-Career will be available from browngrotta.com after May 1st.

pictured works by: Birgit Birkkjaer; Grethe Sorensen; Grethe Wittrock; Gudrun Pagter; Mary Merkel-Hess; Tom grotta; browngrotta arts

pictured works by: Birgit Birkkjaer; Grethe Sorensen; Grethe Wittrock; Gudrun Pagter; Mary Merkel-Hess; Tom grotta; browngrotta arts


Press News: Green from the Get Go – browngrotta arts’ 44th catalog is now available.

GreenCover-1We are excited to announce that our 44th catalog, Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers, is now available at browngrotta.com. The catalog, photographed by Tom Grotta, contains 132 full-color photos of artwork from browngrotta arts’ current installation, Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers, on exhibit at the Morris Museum, in Morristown, New Jersey through June 26th. Green from the Get Go showcases more than 75 works by 33 artists from Canada, Europe, Japan, Scandinavia and the US — innovators in the genre of 20th-century art basketry as well as emerging talents. These artists take their inspiration from nature and the history of basketry but their inventive works challenge our conceptions of what a “basket” can be. In Naoko Serino’s Generating 12.2, for example, cylinders of spun jute, of varying degrees of transparency, stand in rhythmic, ethereal balance. The artist hopes that “an expression and dialogue will be produced, that the space would be created/generated in which there is a comfortable energy, expressions that will continue to exist in balance with the surroundings.” In Stéphanie Jacques’s Wall / Mur, we get not one basket, but a honeycomb — nearly a dozen basket spheres made of willow. Jane Balsgard’s Barkbaden boat shape is more literal — a willow frame covered in handmade paper — but the result is unexpected.

Naoko Serino Generating 12

The artists in Green from the Get Go, “have a strong connection to the land, whether cultivated fields or wild prairies, marches, or forests,” writes Jane Milosch in her essay, The Entanglement of Nature and Man. “Several cultivate, harvest, and prepare the materials from which they construct their work. They have a respectful awareness of the origin of things, and of the interconnected aspects of nature and ecosystems, which are both fragile and resilient.” In 2011, Milosch, Director, Provenance Research Initiative, Smithsonian Institution and former curator, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, approached browngrotta arts about mounting an exhibition featuring artists working in basket forms. Discussions quickly coalesced around designing an exhibition that would highlight these artists’ processes and techniques and shed light on their intimate connection to nature. Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers, the exhibition and catalog, featuring dozens of baskets, vessels and related objects of natural materials — bark, twigs, willow, cedar and bamboo, was the result.

Dona Look Basket #976

The work in Green from the Get Go reveals a heightened sensitivity to the physicality of materials, one that honors the stewardship of nature by the artists’ choice and use of materials. That practice is under challenge, however. For Dona Look, collecting and preparation of the birch bark for her work is weather dependent and labor intensive. That process has grown more difficult as white birch trees, once prevalent in northern Wisconsin, have become harder to find due to climate change. Christine Joy has begun collecting a great amount of red mountain maple, as her neighbors in Montana remove it to protect their homes from forest fires. Mountain maple in it’s first year of growth is a beautiful burgundy and not too branchy, she says, but she did not use it until it was seen as a fire hazard. “The environmental factor of fire affected my material choices,” says the artist.

ChristineJoy.Greenfromthegetgo“These baskets feel complete, and at the same moment they invite human interaction and interpretation,” writes Milosch. Explore them in the catalog (www.browngrotta.com/Pages/c40.php.) and at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey from now until June 26th; www.morrismuseum.org/current-exhibitions/.


Organic Portraits: John F. Cooper at the Morris Museum with Green from the Get Go

John Cooper: Organic Portraits exhibition. Photo by John Cooper

John Cooper: Organic Portraits exhibition. Photo by John Cooper

From March 19th to June 26th, the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey will exhibit Organic Portraits: John F. Cooper in conjunction with Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary BasketmakersPhotographer John F. Cooper’s Organic Portraits series and his book of the same name are the result of a creative project that has has been part of his life for well over a decade. “From the beginning,” Cooper explains, “the intent of the Organic Portraits project was to create a series of timeless and fundamentally beautiful images that would create awareness for—and help preserve—the world’s rainforests. In the 1950s, around the time I was born, about 15 percent of Earth’s landmass was covered with oxygen-generating and carbon-dioxide storing rainforests. As of the time of this book’s publication, fewer than 70 percent of those forests remain; more of these crucial ecosystems could disappear by the close of this decade. It is my belief they benefit the world more by being present rather than existing only in photographs, videos and the annals of history. The aim of this project is to drive home the understanding that our rainforests— the lungs of our Earth— are both vital and in dire need of protection.” Cooper published Organic Portraits through a Kickstarter campaign; Cooper is donating all profits from the book, which is available in the Museum’s bookstore, to the Rainforest Action Network Fund.KS

The photographs in Organic Portraits feature models posed against classic and simple backdrops and incorporating natural elements into each model’s hair to create a unique hair sculpture. Most of the photographs produced for Organic Portraits utilized large-format Polaroid film. Polaroid is now extinct; it’s eerily prophetic that the very medium used to create a series of images intended to preserve the world’s rainforests is now, itself, no longer. The cameras used in the series –each a work of art in their own right –were a 1950 8×10 Deardorff View Camera, and a 1980 4×5 Deardorff View Camera. Handcrafted from mahogany and brass, they are beautiful pieces of functional sculpture that were designed to last. The cameras are no longer manufactured and only a handful survive in the world today.

A set of 13 John F. Cooper Postcards printed on paper made of 100% post-consumer content and is available at the Museum's bookstore

A set of 13 John F. Cooper Postcards printed on paper made of 100% post-consumer content and is available at the Museum’s store

In creating these works, Cooper received generous support from 100 models, fashion designers, backdrop painters and studios,  Peter D. Brown, who fabricated the organic hair sculptures and environmental advocates Summer Rayne Oakes and Nicolas Rachline. “The images we have created are as beautiful as they were when they were first born in our imaginations,” says Cooper. “The cause that they support—saving our rainforests and the indigenous people who call them home—is as vital, no, more so, than when the project first began.”

The Opening Reception for Organic Portraits and Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers will take place on March 31st from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. John F. Cooper will speak  about his photographs at Tea and Treasures  on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The Morris Museum is located at: 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960, accessible from New York City via www.njtransit.com. For more information: (973) 971-3700; info@morrismuseum.org or http://www.johnfcooper.com.


Nature Reimagined: Green from the Get Go at the Morris Museum

Green From the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers

Green From the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers at the Morris Museum. Photo by Tom Grotta

For the next three months March 19th- June 26th 2016, the Morris Museum, in Morristown, New Jersey, will host Green from the Get Go: Contemporary International Basketmakers, an extensive survey exhibition of works made with natural materials — from apple, bamboo, pine, sea grass and willow to crow feathers, birch bark, bayberry thorns, kibiso and zelikova. Curated by Jane Milosh, Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, the Smithsonian and Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown, co-curators at browngrotta arts in Wilton, Connecticut, the exhibition debuted at the Wayne Art Center in Pennsylvania in December 2011 and was featured at the Eleanor and Edsel Ford House, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in 2013. The exhibition has grown larger for its Morris Museum launch; 33 artists from eight countries, and 78 varied works are included. Some of these are closely linked to traditional basket forms, while other are monumental or hang on the wall, their forms

Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers

Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketmakers

breaking away from the traditional vessel or container form in tantalizing ways. “This is the largest exhibition of baskets and sculptural fiber that we have ever been involved with,” says Tom Grotta. Artists well known in the field are featured, including Ed Rossbach, John McQueen, Dorothy Gill Barnes and Gyöngy Laky as well as talented, but lesser-known creators like Laura Ellen Bacon of the UK and Stéphanie Jacques of Belgium. The wide range of shapes, the multitude of techniques and the unexpected materials employed lead viewers to speculate about Nature as an inspiration for art and much more. The baskets Green from the Get Go, writes Milosch in the exhibition catalog, “feel complete and at the same moment they invite human interaction and interpretation. In fact,

Green from the Get Go:ontemporary International Basketmakers at the Morris Museum. Photo by Tom grotta

Green from the Get Go:ontemporary International Basketmakers at the Morris Museum. Photo by Tom grotta

paradox is at the root of these compelling works, which are both earthy and spiritual; serene and energetic; systematic and random; simple and complex; supple and rigid; fragile and sturdy; see-through and opaque; textured and smooth; specific and universal; social and standalone; with intricate patterns and simple silhouettes.” The Opening Reception will take place on March 31st from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Tom Grotta will speak about the works in the show at Tea and Treasures on June 15th. The Morris Museum is located at: 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960, accessible from New York City via www.njtransit.com. For more information: (973) 971-3700; info@morrismuseum.org or browngrotta.com.


art on paper preview: Chris Drury’s Double Echo

Double Echo Chris Drury Inkjet print with UV coating 54.25" x 46.25" x 2.75", 2007 Edition 2/4 Echogram/ Echocardioagram (edition of 4)

Double Echo, Chris Drury, Inkjet print with UV coating, 54.25″ x 46.25″ x 2.75″, 2007, Echogram, Echocardiogram, (edition of 4). Photo by Tom Grotta

We are heading to New York City tomorrow to set up for art on paper at Pier 36. Among the works we’ll be exhibiting is Chris Drury’s Double Echo, an inkjet print that merges a human echocardiogram and and echogram of Antartica, accompanied by the actual echocardiogram and the echogram on wooden spools. In 2006 and 2007, Drury spent more than two months with the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica as artist-in-residence. The scientists there were looking at what they stood upon but could not see – the structure of the ice and underlying land formation. In parts of Antarctica the ice is four kilometers deep 900,000 years old – as old as our earliest ancestors. One of the scientists, Hugh Corr, described the remarkable images that result as like a “heartbeat of the Earth.” The fragment of an echogram in Double Echo is from Flight W34 over East Antarctica – a long cross-section of the ice beneath the flight, made by radar pulses sent down though the ice and back up into a computer in the aircraft. The echocardiogram is of the pilot’s heartbeat, superimposed over the top. An echocardiogram is very similar in technology to an echogram although it uses ultrasound rather than radar.

DSC_6185

Double Echo, Chris Drury, Detail, Photo by Tom Grotta

For some time, Drury has been looking at systems in the body and on the planet, particularly systems of blood flow in the heart. He was invited by the heart surgeon, Mark Dancy, to make a blood flow courtyard (Echoes of the Heart) at Central Middlesex Hospital, adjoining the Cardiac ward. It was Dancy’s department that agreed to do an echocardiogram on the pilot who flew those echogram flights in Antarctica and so enabled Drury to make the work Double Echo. A print from that series hangs on the walls of that particular ward. The hours of the exhibition are Friday, March 4th and Saturday, March 5th, 11 – 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 6th, 12 – 6 p.m. There is a Preview, benefiting the Brooklyn Museum, Thursday, March 3rd, from 6 – 10 p.m. For ticket and other information visit: http://thepaperfair.com/ny/for-visitors/fair-dates-hours-location/.


It’s Never Too Early: How to Buy Art in Your 20s

Lizzie Farey, Deborah Valoma and Stéphanie Jacques

Lizzie Farey($1,800), Deborah Valoma($1,700) and Stéphanie Jacques($1,200). Photo by Tom Grotta

Thanks to the DIY movement and a mass of online and cable design and decor resources, we’ve never had more encouragement to create environments that inspire and invigorate. Art can be an essential element of such an environment and investing in art need not be a bank breaker. Domino, a curated site that encourages readers to “bring your style home,” offers several tips for buying art in your 20s, including not buying too big and not being afraid to invest http://domino.com/how-to-buy-art-in-your-twenties/story-image/all. We at browngrotta arts have a few additional thoughts:

6tt INYO (95-2), Tsuruko Tanikawa, brass and iron wire, coiled and burned, 7.5" x 6.5" x 14", 1995

INYO (95-2), Tsuruko Tanikawa, brass and iron wire, coiled and burned, 7.5″ x 6.5″ x 14″, 1995 ($1,200)

1) Think objects: If you are in your first apartment or are fairly certain that a move is in your future, Ceramics, Art Baskets, Glass sculptures can be easier to place in your next home than a large wall piece may be.

Naomi Kobayashi Red & White Cubes

Naomi Kobayashi Red & White Cubes ($1,000 each)

2) Invest for impact: Prints are generally less expensive than originals, editions less expensive than a one off. And you will find that some mediums are, in general, priced more accessibly than others. Art textiles and fiber sculpture are an example. Work by the best-known artists in the field go for under a million dollars, compared to tens of million dollars for paintings by well-recognized artists.  You can start small with works in fiber, ceramics and wood, and create a small, but well-curated, collection. Consider Naomi Kobayashi, a Japanese textile artist whose work is in the permanent collection of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and whose work can be acquired for $1000.  Or an up-and-coming artist like Stéphanie Jacques from Belgium, whose masterful multi-media works address issues of gender and identity, and begin at prices below $1500.

GRAY WITH BLACK, Sara Brenan, wool & silks linen, 12.5” x 19”, $1,900 photo by Tom Grotta

GRAY WITH BLACK, Sara Brenan, wool & silks linen, 12.5” x 19”, $1,900 photo by Tom Grotta

3) Take advantage of digital placement: Reviewing art online is a great way to expose yourself to a wide variety of work, and develop your personal aesthetic. Once you’ve found a work that appeals, digital placement can give you a greater level of confidence before you press “Buy.” At browngrotta arts, we ask clients to send us a photo of the space the propose to install the work. We can digitally install the piece, to scale and with shadow, so you have a sense of how will work there.

32pc CONSTRUCTION III, Pat Campbell, rice paper, reed, 8" x 7.5" x 5.5", 2002

32pc CONSTRUCTION III, Pat Campbell, rice paper, reed, 8″ x 7.5″ x 5.5″, 2002

4) Document: If the work you purchase has appeared in a book or a catalog, make sure you get a copy. Ask the seller for any information he/she has on the artist for your files. On each artist’s page on browngrotta.com, you can find a list of publications in which the artist’s work appears. The documentation is good to have for insurance and appraisal purposes and you can watch as the artist’s cv —hopefully — expands in the next several years.

5) Buy for love: It’s great to learn 10 years down the road that a work of art you purchased has appreciated and is worth more than you paid for it. We’d argue, though, that if you’ve enjoyed owning it for 10 years, and thought each time you looked at it, “I really love that piece,” you’ll have gotten your money’s worth, and enriched your life in the process.


Art Events — From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature

From The Ground Up Banner Bendheim Gallery . Photo by Tom Grotta

From The Ground Up Banner Bendheim Gallery . Photo by Tom Grotta

We are pleased to have partnered with the Greenwich Arts Council for From the Ground Up: ART Inspired by Nature, at the Bendheim Gallery in Greenwich through October 29th. The exhibition is beautifully installed by Gallery Director and the gallery space is quiet and contemplative. There are three small galleries and a dramatic entry space, where works by Jane Balsgaard, Gyöngy Laky and Stéphanie Jacques join Dawn Mac Nutt’s willow figures, companions to the bronze MacNutt figure that stands in front of the Arts Council Building.

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Stéphanie Jacques, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Dawn MacNutt. Photo by Tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Stéphanie Jacques, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Dawn MacNutt. Photo by Tom Grotta

Paintings are interspersed with photographs and sculptures of natural materials, providing viewers a varied view of nature as envisioned by artists. There are 12 in this exhibition, from the US and abroad: Jane Balsgaard, Laura Cunningham, Stéphanie Jacques, Donald Landsman, Gyöngy Laky, Dawn MacNutt, John McQueen, Kyle Norton, Ángel Mieres, Lizzy Rockwell, Hisako Sekijima and Masako Yoshida.

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Hisako Sekimachi, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Hisako Sekimachi, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by tom Grotta

The exhibition includes paintings by Ángel Mieres, born in Caracas, Venezuela, whose vibrant, bright works are an abstract exploration of fragile, natural motifs, such as butterflies or flowers.

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, Gyöngy Laky, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature installation, John McQueen, Kyle Norton, Photo by tom Grotta

Kyle Norton, who studied photography at Rochester Institute of Photography, takes lush photographs of fruits and vegetables, magnifies their size from a few inches to a dramatic three feet or so — offering nature up close and personal, as it were.

John McQueen‘s three-dimensional works are made of natural materials — twigs, bark, cardboard — he prides himself on not needing to go the arts supply store. In Same Difference, for example, the juxtaposition of detailed sculptures of the Hindu god, Ganesh, a bonsai and a sump pump is visually engaging. When McQueen explains the simple and smart connection amongst the three —all soak up water, through a trunk, root system or a pump — the work can be appreciated on additional level.

From the Ground Up; Greenwich Art Council, John McQueen, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by Tom Grotta

From the Ground Up; Greenwich Art Council, John McQueen, Jane Balsgaard, Photo by Tom Grotta

In front of the building that houses the Bendheim Gallery stands Dawn MacNutt’s Timeless Form and viewers have an opportunity to hear her speak about it’s creation through a mobile device link. You can hear her here:

Dawn Macnutt Timeless Figure bronze Sculpture and Otocast in front of the Greenwich Arts Council. Photos by Tom Grotta

From the Ground Up: ART inspired by Nature, will be at the Bendheim Gallery, Greenwich Arts Council, 299 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT, 06830 . P 203.862.6750 F 203.862.6753 . info@greenwicharts.org through October 29th. The Arts Council’s Gala, Arts Alive will be on October 17th at the Art Center. To buy a ticket, go to: http://www.greenwichartscouncil.org/Arts-Alive.html.