EARTHSCAPES: Emerging to a Brighter Tomorrow
Summit, NJ. Reeves-Reed Arboretum will be kicking off its summer season of the arts with its newest exhibit EARTHSCAPES: Emerging to a Brighter Tomorrow. Curated by Executive Director Jackie Kondel the exhibit will be on view from June 14 - October 31, 2021 in the Wisner House Gallery and features paintings and sculptures by contemporary neo-naturalist artist Pamela Casper. Spanning over twelve years, the show traverses the breadth of the artist's compelling inquiry into our natural environment and the nuance of humanity's uneasy relationship with nature.
Casper's Plein Air paintings which welcome visitors into the Wisner House foyer were created from direct observation and form a natural dialogue with the sylvan surroundings at the Arboretum. The subsequent gallery introduces guests to Casper's "The Tornado Series," spanning from 2007- 2015 and documenting imagined landscapes which reveal the impact of human waste and pollution on natural cycles such as pollination and water habitats. The tornado as a formal element dominates these paintings in a conceptual approach that serves as a metaphor for upheaval and uncontrolled natural forces.
In her recent work, the artist has continued to produce imagined renderings of the hidden aspects of our subterranean world in her watercolor and oil on canvas paintings. These works probe aspects of nature that we more rarely engage with, tapping into various perspectives of this hidden habitat through both a microscopic and macroscopic lens.
Finally, the artist utilizes barbed wire and other found materials, such as feathers and wood, in her sculptures, "Carnival of Insects", "Abandoned Nests" and "Ghost Birds," which deal with themes of extinction and form a site-specific installation in the gallery.
Guests will be provided with a departure point to consider nature through the lens of the built environment's impact on our eco-systems, along with providing a window into a personal consideration of how our individual actions form a collective impact on the natural world. This work mounts a holistic approach to the universal aspects of the natural world that confront and astonish us, as Casper reminds us that we also have roots in the ground and that humanity is responsible for ensuring environmental conservation for generations to come.
All works are for sale, and the artist will generously donate 30% of each sale back to the Arboretum. The public is also invited to meet Pamela Casper at the upcoming Meet the Artist Reception on Thursday, June 24, 2021 from 7 – 9 p.m. Reeves-Reed Arboretum is located at 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901. For more details about the exhibit and to confirm gallery hours before visiting, please visit reeves-reedarboretum.org.
Pamela Casper (lives/works in Brooklyn, NY) is a neo-naturalist painter and mixed-media artist who studied painting with Harriet Shorr at Swarthmore College followed by living in Paris for two years. Casper's work has been exhibited in group exhibitions at notable institutions such as the American Watercolor Society (New York, NY) and Exit Art (New York, NY) along with the Mindener Museum (Minden, Germany). Her recent work was included in the 2020 Ecoartspace catalogue curated by Eleanor Heartney. Casper was a finalist for the NYFA Basil Alkassi painting award and completed a residency at EMerge at Earthdance for Living (Plainfield, MA) and The Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT). Her solo exhibitions at Gallery Shirley (Geneva, Switzerland) and The Witt Gallery (Paulett, VT) precede this solo show at the Wisner House, Reeves-Reed Arboretum. http://www.pamelacasper.com/bio/
About Reeves-Reed Arboretum: Celebrating over 40 years as a historic public garden and education resource, Reeves-Reed Arboretum engages, educates and enriches the public through horticulture and environmental education, and the care and utilization of the gardens and estate. Open 7 days a week, the Arboretum is listed on both the National and New Jersey State Historic Registers. Funding for RRA has been made possible in part by the NJ Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Dept. of Parks & Community Renewal.
Reeves-Reed Arboretum....a place to grow, for everyone!