“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

A medley of Earth’s colors, textures, shapes, and emotions, the exhibit Into the Woods captures the scenes and senses that establish the relationship between humans and nature. 

The exhibit consists of a variety of sculptures, paintings, photographs, collages, and mixed media pieces, ranging from one-foot, ethereal, water paintings to five-foot, geometric sculptures made of garden hoses. Gentle and curious, the exhibit allows the viewer to reflect on their relationship with nature-inspired pieces and reflect on the context of the artwork itself. 

Featured artists include Kevin Broad, Barbara A. Straussberg, Brent Crothers, JoAnne Schiavone, Diane Richards, and Kristen L. Bell. Schiavone’s “Tidal Pools” incorporates real water, photographs, and plexiglass to create an interactive experience resembling a boardwalk. Meanwhile, Richard’s “Double Vision” creates a double-sided wood and silk piece made with eco-friendly dyes to produce organic colors and textures from the environment. Regardless of the medium, each piece in the exhibit expresses the artists’ process of working with natural elements like wood, silks, metal, water and more. 

In her nature poem “Telescope,” poet Louise Glück writes: “You realize afterward/ not that the image is false/ but the relation is false.” Into the Woods draws upon themes of the natural and the unknown, the complex and the simple, the connection and yet, a misunderstanding. The viewers are able to witness and dissect their own engagement with the woods, the water, the creatures, and everything in between. 

The exhibit is divided by location and theme in each of Park Towne Place’s towers.  In the North Towery Gallery is the theme of “Submerge,” the South Tower Gallery is “Elevate,” and West Tower Gallery is “Meditative.” Find yourself immersed in nature’s power and environmental expression by visiting all three Into the Woods exhibits at Park Towne Place. The exhibit is on display until January 5th, 2020. 

Ellen Benson

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