FORESTlore: A group show exploring actual and mythical forest life.
August 3rd - November 14th
The forest is a majestic place. It is teaming with life and history. The forest absorbs visitors with its smell, scale, scenery and stories. In the latter half of summer we hike, we camp and we enjoy the present while awaiting the brilliant autumn foliage. That is the inspiration for the current art exhibition at the RSM Art Gallery. FORESTlore is a group show of three artists inspired by New England forests. The exhibiting artists are Gisela Griffith, Ilana Manolson and Amy Ross.
While hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire Gisela Griffith felt a harmonious relationship with nature that is an integral part of the hiking experience. Found on the forest floor as nature’s ‘litterfall’ birch continues to make its distinction, defying nature’s cycle of decay. While the inner tree decomposes, the outer bark remains strong and firm leaving a shell that is alluring in its form. Griffith uses the traditional method of applying metallic leaf to the interior of the bark. Acknowledging symbolism and an awareness of art history these ‘icons’ are informed by European folklore and personal history. Griffith is in her eighth year of creating ‘Secrets of Nature’ birch bark icons.
Ilana Manolson deliberately seeks the small details in a landscape, the rotting leaves curled against the ground, a milkweed seed caught by the wind exploding out of its pod, rain as it at pools in the moss. These small details tell Manolson more than what she sees: they tell her about wind patterns, rainfall, the health of the land. In these paintings Manolson tries to fuse what she sees with what she knows, letting the elements exist together to create the story of the larger whole.
With an academic background in religious studies and a lifelong interest in folklore and mythology, Amy Ross examines the phenomena of the natural world through the lens of story and imagination. The collages exhibited in FORESTlore are illustrations snipped from antique periodicals. In the studio, Ross takes a “mad scientist” approach to art making, creating hybrid creatures by morphing together humans, animals, and plants. The hybrid creatures Ross creates arise from a blurring of permeable boundaries: those between humans and animals, flora and fauna, predator and prey, and the human and spirit realms.
Founded in 2002, the RSM Art Gallery focuses on thematic group exhibitions of local artists work. Quarterly exhibitions are curated by the Sunne Savage Gallery. The RSM Art Gallery pairs each exhibition with a non-profit organization who receives twenty percent of sales during the exhibition. Proceeds from the FORESTlore exhibition will be donated to the Appalachian Mountain Club whose mission is to connect people to the freedom and exhilaration of the outdoors. The AMC invites and helps people of all ages and abilities explore and develop a deep appreciation for the natural world. By sharing a love and understanding of the outdoors, the AMC hopes to inspire a commitment to protecting and caring for the natural world around us. More information about the AMC can be found at www.outdoors.org.