Artisitic interpretations of a beautiful world

Earth’s natural beauty has been photographed, painted, sculpted and printed for viewers to enjoy in a new exhibit at Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery.

“Earth Patterns” is described as “speckled and spotted, textured and smooth … where the infinite variety of nature’s patterns call from forests and mountains, deserts and crystal waters, and are reflected on the surface of paper and clay.”

Six area artists will be showing their work for this nature-inspired exhibit: Dianne Collinson of of Yellow Springs, Sue Brezine of Kettering, Andrea Starkey of Bellbrook, Eli Collinson of Columbus, Brad Husk of Yellow Springs, and Nicki Strouss, who recently moved from Yellow Springs to Kentucky.

“This nature-inspired exhibit reflects the earth’s various patterns and textures, and how they call each other across landscape and species,” said Diane Collinson. “The variety of nature’s patterns have migrated from the fields and forests to the printmaker’s plate and the photographer’s lens. Both the owl’s soft plumage and harsh rock faces are repeated on the ceramic surface.”

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Collinson is showing 12 hand-built ceramic pieces, as well as 12 collaborative works with Brezine. Her redwood pieces were inspired by a recent visit to the northwest rainforests and northern California.

“I used dark-colored clays and lots of textural effects, rather than the usual porcelain clay body,” she said. “I tried to keep my work looser and less refined. It was all experimental and new.”

Brezine is showing an additional 11 watercolors of her own featuring owls, hawks, fish and other species.

“Seeing and drawing is a way of contemplation for me,” said Brezine, who studied with Frederick Franck in the early 1980s.

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A conversation about painting on ceramics led to the collaboration where Collinson created the forms that Brezine enhanced with translucent images in ceramic underglaze watercolors.

“I have loved her work for years and it seemed to me that her luminous watercolors would be a great fit for some of my pottery forms,” Collinson said.

Starkey used a variety of methods for the 10 prints she is presenting: woodblock, drypoint and collagraph plates constructed with found objects and carborundum.

“From otherworldly landscapes of moss and lichen on tree bark to the fine lines of a leaf, I strive to achieve some of the wonder existing in smaller things,” said Starkey, an architectural illustrator and graphic designer.

Eli Collinson has documented a recent 21-day trip with nine images from 11 national parks. As a rock climber, he was able to capture a rare perspective of brilliant red sandstone in Utah and white granite cliffs in Yosemite.

“I hope viewers will feel some of the same sense of awe at the beauty of nature, and leave willing to work to protect these places,” said Collinson, a sustainability major at Ohio State University.

Husk is showing 12 ceramic works he’s fired in a Manabigama wood kiln.

“The ash and flashing from the flames create a warm, earthy look and feel,” said Husk, a kiln/studio tech at John Bryan Community Pottery. “The pottery begs to be touched and turned, to see the beautiful record of what occurs in the kiln during firing.”

Strouss creates functional pottery that often references figures.

“As containers for thoughts or food, I hope my work will find a happy place to enliven your home,” said Strouss, a graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design who is currently teaching ceramics at a New Jersey summer camp.

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