Each month, the Creative Gateways studios chooses a theme to inspire our work and act as a focus for our first Friday exhibition. Here is what’s coming up in June…
Nature is a perennial and pervasive source of inspiration, for artists and non-artists alike. We can use it to articulate a connection with the rest of the world and with life itself. It is why we search for the perfect vegetable to consume, why we travel for miles to see the red rocks of Sedona, and why Thoreau’s “Walden” is about more than just a walk through the woods.
Nature spans many shapes and sized, however. Grand, majestic monuments can fill us with awe, but we can often cultivate our own connection right in our backyard, watching things grow as we give what is needed. For artists, what is needed is creativity and passion. With those two things, a small plot can become like a verdant field.
Tilling the Soil
California glass artist Jenny Floravita is no stranger to nature. She seeks to put elements of the garden into a variety of her exquisite chandeliers. Each is delicately hand-painted, creating a gorgeous and striking floral arrangement. As Floravita explains, “I love the expressive feeling I’m able to infuse into every flower petal, leaf, bird, and accent.” By the time they are finished, her pieces convey a three-dimensional effect that leaves viewers feeling as though they have a blooming flower garden hanging above them. Ultimately, the complex beauty of the garden is filtered through Floravita’s personal lens, creating something truly unique.
Ceramic artist Sumati Colpitts is also a devotee of the garden spirit. For her, the garden is best celebrated by populating it. Her weather-resistant animals are often most at home in the shade of an old tree or lounging among the rocks on the outskirts of a flowerbed. The slight touches of anthropomorphism and fantasy imbue each piece with charming personalities that express the wonder of the natural world. Perhaps the real secret they possess, however, is that while they draw from the energy around them, they also contribute to it.
Blown glass artist Randy Walker creates large, vibrant recreations of what the garden has to offer. As he explains, “I gather inspiration from molten glass’s animated movement, evocative colors and intricate surfaces equal to the inspiration I harvest from the same essential qualities found in nature.” Often over two feet long, his Seedpods display both what can be reaped from nature’s labors of love and how those creations house the seeds future labors. A beautiful, cyclical pattern is implied in a combination of earth tones and stunning, surreal colors.
Space for Everyone
You can see the work of Jenny, Sumati, Randy, and all our represented artists at Kuivato a Creative Gateways Gallery, open 7 days a week, 10am-6pm. Be sure to join us for the opening reception of “Secrets of the Garden: 1st Friday Exhibition,” Friday, June 1st, from 5-8pm!