Alma Art Exhibit Celebrates Nature
Nature is celebrated in the artwork of Cindi Ford, Kathleen
VanDeMark and Mariel Versluis currently on display in the Flora Kirsch
Beck Gallery at Alma College.
The exhibit, titled “Allegory, Myth & Comment,” runs from Monday, Feb. 9 through Thursday, March 12. Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
VanDeMark invites viewers to her gallery talk at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. A reception and gallery talks by Ford and Versluis take place at 6:30 p.m. March 12.
The prevailing theme of the show is appreciation and respect for nature and animals. The artists present interpretations of the nature theme within their art mediums.
VanDeMark uses wood block prints to tell a story of “The Great Journey,” a representation of the evolution and ultimate extinction of species over time. Her inspiration is the need to find solutions to the extinction of animals and share her feelings for animals with others.
“The viewer is invited and encouraged to actively interpret the art, creating stories from their own experience,” says VanDeMark, a member of the art faculty at Ferris State University. “A piece is meant to be perceived, not read.”
Ford’s works depict her experiences at her family cottage on Torch Lake and illustrates the lake’s history from its beginning as a settlement of the Chippewa and Ojibwa Indians to the present. The use of sheer curtains, hung over each print, is meant to create a sense of warmth and compel viewers to give in to curiosity and look beyond the curtains, says Ford, an adjunct faculty member at Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University.
Versluis, also an instructor at Kendall, creates both two- and three-dimensional works in order to share her stories about truths of human existence. The 3D pieces are much like puzzles for the viewer to unravel and interpret.
Her artwork includes two cardboard cutout heads riding atop makeshift bicycles to represent “the insatiable greed and vanity of humanity and our inability to make rational decisions.” Behind the bikes trail a handful of black colored birds depicting the now extinct Passenger Pigeon. Versluis uses this 3D image of the bicyclists pulling the birds to illustrate the story of the bird’s extinction at the hands of man and quietly remind viewers that “humans aren’t the only species on earth.”
Posted: Tue, February 10th, 2009 at 4:11PM