Be Gentle With the Earth by liaoqinmei


									Be Gentle With the Earth
Artists are often people with strong points of view about any number of social issues
and that passion was vividly on display in the West Side Arts Coalition’s “Be Gentle with
the Earth”, May 3-28, 2010 at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M.
Stringer. The show, curated by Margo Mead, was as poignant as it was powerful in its
depiction of our planet’s heroic efforts to stem the ravages of global warming.

Lush mountains, crystal clear blue waters, litter-free trails are the idyllic images of Sonia
Barnett’s colorful landscapes. Leaves, Flowers, Yellow Sky, Tall Grass Near Water, each
provides the viewer with a glimpse of the power and serenity of nature untrampled.

Meg Boe Birns’ iconic goddess totems, Goddess of Uncertain Affinities, Devi, Treetop
Goddess, Anthea, seem to have been plucked from an ancient land whose people
worshipped the eternal renewal of the Earth. Wood, cloth and papier maché enhance the
totemic aura of the work.

Dunes, Rocks and Surf, Summer Flowers, Indian Paintbrush. The very words bring
us to another place, a place future generations might find harder and harder to find.
Marguerite Borchardt, in capturing this Eden-like landscape ensures that this beauty
will endure, at least through art.

(photo not available)
Nothing speaks renewal more than a rising sun and Carol Carpentieri captures that
promise with simple, strong shapes in Graphic Sunrise. In a companion piece, Graphic
Sunset, Carpentieri brings to life the mystery and drama of the approaching night.
Peaceful Waters, in soft, spring-like colors offers a gentler view.

Lisa Ferber’s charming line drawings and paintings pack a huge wallop. With titles such
as Molly Was the First Girl on the Block to Receive Leed Certification for Her Dollhouse,
Ferber retains the child-like images of her work but the message is anything but naive.
Low CO emissions, lowering carbon footprints - critical components in keeping our
fragile planet alive are the serious intents behind these seemingly innocent pieces.

In Elizabeth K. Hill’s Liber Creatarum all forms of life -
humans, animals, plantlife - seem to be swirling together,     by Marianne V. McNamara
perhaps at the beginning of time, in a turquoise universe.      photos by Herb Fogelson
Yellow Sea and Oriental Noank I are richly colored in the
Japanese style, spare but highly charged. The Dictionary                         Featuring
is a mixed media piece, very enigmatic in the use of                      Sonia Barnett
printed material and strong colors.                                      Meg Boe Birns
                                                                   Marguerite Borchardt
William Hunt’s Caring About the Earth I and Caring                     Carol Carpentieri
About the Earth II are highly dramatic and yet extremely                      Lisa Ferber
poignant pieces. In both works a larger-than-life, motherly             Elizabeth K. Hill
figure tenderly comforts an innocent and tragically                          William Hunt
vulnerable Earth.                                                             Rini Hunter
                                                                         Carolyn Kaplan
In three commanding watercolors, Rini Hunter’s majestic                     Nate Ladson
animals are barely visible on their dark, shadowy                         Linda Lessner
landscape. In Solo, Herd V and Beasts the desperation of          Marianne V. McNamara
the plights of animals who once roamed free, is startling                   Margo Mead
in the paintings’ stark palette of shades of brown.                      Amy Rosenfeld
                                                                           Anne Rudder
Four strong works by Carolyn Kaplan express both                    Robert T. Schultheis
ends of the global warming spectrum. With Pond and CR                      Robert Scott
Sunset, the viewer is offered images of vibrant life on our        Patience Sundaresan
planet while Black Ocean and Winter Trees are starker                        Nicole Titus
images of the possible future of our home.
Be Gentle With the Earth (cont.)
                       Nate Ladson reminds us of the serenity of being one with nature with A Walk Thru
                       The Park. This viewer was left wondering if future generations will have this singularly
                       pleasurable experience. In The Falls and Night Fall, Ladson brings us two extraordinary
                       visuals of water, thundering with power. Birds, on the other hand, brings us back to the
                       city with a quiet observation of pigeons on a roof top - quietly observing us?

                       Linda Lessner’s bold landscapes, Summer Evening on the Wye River, Gay Head Cliffs,
                       Cave, remind us all too well what we and future generations are at danger of losing. With
                       this in mind, the wild beauty of Lessner’s rocky cliffs, caves, primeval lakes and forests
                       have never seemed more precious.

                       (photo not available)
                       Marianne V. McNamara brings two paintings to this most important show about the
                       renewal of the earth. Regeneration reminds us that we humans can, and do, grow at any
                       age. A more unfortunate and dire message is Home Sweet Home.

                       Compelling pieces by Margo Mead, Running Not Listening to Earth, Holding Off Global
                       Warming, Be Gentle with the Earth, Passivity Breeds Doom, depict a man and woman, at
                       first apathetic to the earthly turmoil around them. Their indifference turns to anxiety, then
                       solicitude as they move to save their planet. Two very sharp and relevant poems by S.
                       David accompany Mead’s work.

                       Amy Rosenfeld combines painting with collage and text in her strong, graphic display of
                       No Littering signage. The signs are placed significantly on a grassy green background.
                       In Nature Is Beauty, the artist’s own poem accompanies large flowers and trees in lush
                       colors and admonishes us to leave nature unspoiled.

                       Two lyrical pieces by Anne Rudder, End of Winter and Great Lakes, placed just outside
                       the gallery invite the viewer into this environmentally important show. With sunlight, color
                       and text Rudder evokes the optimism and glory of our Earth’s perpetual rebirth.

                       Robert T. Schultheis’ three superb oils remind us that cities are as vulnerable as the
                       country in preserving life on our lonely planet. Snow Tops, Check Mate and Walking in
                       the Rain strike a solid chord with anyone who reveres the ever-changing environment of
                       city life and the unusual, lovely quiet it sometimes offers.

                       In his skillful pen and ink rendering of New Order, Robert Scott brings a startling
                       message of a chaotic planet. Or of humanity? Perhaps both. Evolving Harmony and
                       Island Universe suggest a more harmonious struggle in the earth’s effort to endure. The
                       lone tree in Arbor Drama is particularly heroic, its life force palpable.

                       (photo not available)
                       Could there be anything more magical than watching a red kite flying blissfully against a
                       dazzling, cloudless blue sky? Patience Prescott Sundaresan ennobles this delightful
                       image in 3 oils, Kite I, Kite II and Kite III. In each painting, slight differences in the
                       movement of the kite are subtle but the message of the free spirit pulsates.

                       Nicole Titus offers Be Gentle with the Earth, Bird on a Lily Pond, Let Us Cultivate Our
                       Gardens and Sad Vendor, works that are provocative in a disarmingly primitive style.
                       Even with a palette of vibrant reds, yellows, blues and greens, Titus is still able to endow
                       the paintings with an underlying sense of melancholy.

                       Nineteen different artists working in nineteen individual styles - but with one clear and
                       simple message: We are the earth and the earth is us.

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