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Exquisite Copse will be a temporary exhibition of sculptures in Palumbo Park, a small community park adjacent to Fleisher Art Memorial and across the street from the Da Vinci Art Alliance, during the month of October. The sculptures will be in the spirit of da Vinci and some of the remarkable artist who came after him. A play on the Surrealists’ game “Exquisite Corpse,” Exquisite Copse will be a three-dimensional version installed in the garden areas and walkways of the park.
Even though much of the festival will be virtual, the outdoor sculpture exhibition will still take place in real time and real space. Twelve artworks will pop out from the bushes, hang from the trees, and creep along the walkways of Palumbo Park. True to the spirit of both Leonardo Da Vinci and the Surrealists, the artworks in Exquisite Copse delight, engage, and mystify.
Who doesn’t like ice cream cones? Ken Beidler offers Upside Down, a gigantic cone of wood and polypropylene twine – but after it has met with an unfortunate accident and fallen to the ground. Perhaps its owner was frightened by Gregory Laut’s Lizard Person, a bodiless creature roaming the gardens, or by Bina Shah’s disturbing Caged, half woman, half lobster. Or by Carole Loeffler’s domesti-pede, an even stranger organism with long tendrils swinging from the branches of a small tree. Or maybe Naomi Teppich’s Covid Alive was just too strong a reminder of how inverted our lives have become.
And what about those trees? Palumbo Park’s stately sycamores do a double take at a strange new visitor that seems to be a tree, but not one in any botany book. Leslie Kaufman’s Return to Nature looks more like the work of a misguided plumber than anything remotely organic. And lobsters aren’t the only ones in cages – Patrick Cabry’s Please Recycle has a struggling tree stuck in a recycling bin as it gets covered with trash. Rebecca Schultz expands the domain of the sycamores, allowing them to fight back and regain their turf as she extends their roots all over the park with What Lies Beneath. Karen Izzi provides suggestions of a life to come with Women in Good Company, a gathering of diverse tree parts standing in for women.
Leonardo himself must be smiling down on all of this. Referencing Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and the rule of proportion that determined that eight heads equal the height of a human body, Clifford Bailey’s Play of Proportion presents eight heads inside a cube – lots of intellect! And David Deakin’s Hearts & Minds Embracing Earth gives a shout-out to both art and science while giving some needed love to our planet. A big red heart wraps itself around an illuminated globe in a tight embrace. Nina Valdera goes even further – in Reflected she thinks about Da Vinci’s ideas of the cosmos as she brings heaven down to earth using LED lights to create illumination.
Don’t miss a chance to get outside and expand both your inner and outer life. Instead of looking at a screen, you can see real, physical artwork in a safe environment. The exhibition will be free and open to the public daily.