Nature serves as inspiration for gallery

""Wild Inspiration" is a nature-infused art exhibit by Elizabeth Austin, a New Media graduate at MIT and Brenda Giegerich, an Art graduate at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

"The two combined their views of nature for the exhibit, but portrayed how they viewed nature through their own eyes.

"Austin has developed what she believes to be a unique working process suspending reflective material in a clear acrylic medium.

"If viewed at the right angle, the artwork in the hand-crafted, Florentine wooden boxes will appear to be in 3-D to the viewer. In her works, she used bright, beautiful colors to portray nature in a delicate yet powerful light.

"In one of her works, "Clever Swallow, ’06," she doesn’t just focus on the swallow, but on the majesty of power as it flies over a building; representing nature and the sky.

"Some of her paintings tend to incorporate shades of blue, with twinges of silver. These represented the different aspects of water and night time. "Deep Water, ‘04" gives the illusion of depth to the viewer. "Foot ‘06" appears to be at night with a silhouette of a balcony, and "Victora ’06," displays twinkling stars as a child is picking flowers in a bright and vibrate field; clearly contrasting between night and day.

""I wanted to make small things with some kind of intensity, some small personal thing that you could open up," Austin said. This is also how she got the idea to put them in the laminated boxes. It took her weeks in Florence to find the right person to make them.

"The blue color scheme was inspired by working at night, and the series was water-based.

""It was a lengthy water series about water, waterfalls, deep water, dolphins, the ocean…I had an obsession trying to create the atmospheres," Austin said. She portrayed the atmospheres easily for the viewer as well as creating the illusion of air when they will notice the creation of the mist in her work.

"Giegerich is the opposite in her own creation of nature. She designs landscapes with natural, dense colors. They are mostly nocturnal paintings. She also did work with mono prints starting back in 1986 which has influenced her current style of painting. The mono prints allowed her to paint more vibrant, vivid hues by the layering of pigment that is often partially scraped away to reveal the colors below. Mono prints have many dots, usually at the top of the artwork.

"While her artwork does contrast the light and dark sides of nature on her oil canvases, such as "In the Woods, ’10," the paintings are very simple. It appears that anyone could paint them because they seem very non-professional. The mono prints, while interesting don’t seem to have any nature related aspect to them, and it feels as though there was no effort behind them.

"Nonetheless, this gallery is worth seeing. The atmosphere in the room is set up by both artists. It will feel as though the viewer is walking in a dream, yet experiencing the reality of nature all at the same time.

"The gallery is open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until April 6.

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