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Posts Tagged ‘art ramble’

Thursday I went over to the Hapgood Wright Town Forest to check out the latest iteration of the Umbrella Community Arts Center’s Art Ramble.

The center’s website says, “In honor of Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday, this exhibit encourages artists to create work that slows the viewer’s experience of the natural world.”

I enjoyed finding the art tucked away here and there in the woods, and I also enjoyed the beauties of the forest: a Great Blue Heron standing patiently in the middle of a pond where I could hear a bullfrog croaking, a beautiful fallen log with wavy lines, Indian Pipe fungi hidden among dry leaves.

The first of the art pieces that I chose to photograph was Mary Baum’s “Point of Entry,” a construction of mirrors covering a rock. Baum says that, in general, “her work deals with themes of belief and mysticism; the connection between the natural and spiritual worlds; and the relationship between magic and miracle.”

The second work I photographed was called “Forest for the Tree” and features small jars holding bits of tree arranged around a trunk.

Self-taught conceptual artist Heather Kapplow says the work “plays with the movement of consciousness or attention between the big picture and the more granular one (with its emphasis resting on the consciousness or attention of one particular tree). It exists as a liminal object, one that touches two worlds and acts as the passageway between. It allows the viewer to consider that there is more to our existence than what meets the eye.” (If you take children, you may want to find a way to translate artistspeak here and elsewhere around the woods.)

My favorite work was an array of “knotholes” by clay sculptor Liz Fletcher, who creates environmental art because she is “concerned about human impacts on the land.”

The title of her contribution is “Lovers of Life,” and features portraits of people who walked gently on the land, such as Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Black Elk, a Oglala Lakota (Sioux), who lived from 1863 to 1950.

Fletcher says, ” ‘Lovers of Life’ is an outdoor portrait gallery. Embedded within knotholes are images of people from various eras and cultures who devoted their creative energies to studying and protecting the natural world, and encouraging people to live in harmony with it. Knotholes on trees show where branches once grew out from the trunk. Knotholes are fine frames for these naturalists and spiritual leaders whose ideas have branched out across the world.”

I wrote about last year’s Art Ramble here.

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At first I saw no art. I didn’t enter the woods where the sign was, and I thought, “Maybe I have the wrong time.”

But the Hapgood Wright Town Forest is a work of art in itself, and I was up for a walk. The hilly pine-needle paths, the pond, the sounds of bullfrogs, wind in the trees, unfamiliar bird calls — all lovely. Then bit by bit, I began noticing pieces of art, part of the 2016 Art Ramble, which can be seen in the woods until September 5. How good of artists to do this!

The Umbrella Community Arts Center explains on its website, “This collaborative project with the Concord Department of Natural Resources celebrates all the arts. Sculpture, poetry, dance, and dramatic readings encourage the intersection of art, nature, and community in a historic natural setting.

“The arts offer a doorway for exploring our relationship with nature and place. An exhibit map will guide you through the exhibit at your own pace. And our calendar of special events and activities offers numerous opportunities to engage with the artists and with nature along the trails.

“We invite you to visit often, reflect, and play.  Share your experiences via writing and drawing in the journals provided along the trail.  Or make your own art using natural materials in the forest.”

[Nancy, this sounds like an event you organized last year.]

Curator Ursula Ziegler says, “It’s been a rumble-tumble-fantastic-interesting road, and it has already exposed us to so many interesting-important dialogues, thoughts, and ideas. Beyond the visible part of art works in a public space, there is an equally important but less visible part, which are the conversations, networks, and structures that are created within our local community and beyond.”

I took some pictures of ceramic toadstools, a QR code I don’t know how to use that would have identified an artist, sapling-like totems (or totem-like saplings), a small sculpture of a boy attached to a tree, fluttery dragonflies and the sign I missed on entering.

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