DISPATCH - SEPT 21, 2012 (6:47 p.m.)

RIVERHEAD, NY

It’s bound to be an interesting show. Each of the exhibiting artists has a direct artistic relationship with nature. Artists function as advocate, documentary, coordinator, observer or interpreter. Nature assumes roles that include muse, material, inspiration and igniter. The various ways that art, community and nature can entangle is the subject of “Nature Incorporated.”

The group show opens on Saturday, Sept 22, and runs through Nov 4, 2012. An opening party will be held on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition is accompanied by two separate events aimed to raise money for the non-profit group, Peconic Green Growth.

"Padua Bred Fowl: Cuckoo Planar: Contour Vane" by Ulf Skogsbergh and Hope Sandrow. Courtesy Art Sites.

“Nature Incorporated” is designed to invoke pondering, said gallery director Glynis Berry. For some, this may begin with the exhibition description:

 Nature Incorporated considers how nature is used as a raw material – both exploited and used for its own characteristics and associations. Nature itself responds to man’s interventions. Can nature be restored once damaged? And the ultimate question? Can nature and man coexist in an integrated manner? Can there be an ever-changing balance?

Related to “Nature Incorporated” is the solo show “Portraits: Art by Tracy Heneberger.” Heneberger’s body of work helped spawn the “Nature Incorporated” exhibition, said Berry.

Heneberger uses natural material to make figurative art. This includes pomegranates, mushrooms, fish, wood and stone. His diverse use of natural material started Berry thinking about the multiple roles nature plays in artwork, in community and as subject and object for action and reaction.

She also began musing on the relationship between man and nature and the ways integration between the two could be enhanced. Invitations went out to artists concerned with the natural world and “Nature Incorporated” was born.

Sculpture by Robert Oxnam. Courtesy Art Sites.

“Nature Incorporated” features artwork by Hideaki Ariizumi, Lillian Ball, Andrea Cote, Scott McIntire, Robert Oxnam, Nina Yankowitz and collaborations between Ulf Skogsbergh  and Hope Sandrow. Artworks range from installation to video art to collaborative photography plus paintings, sculpture and mixed media works.

Moreover, artists were selected to demonstrate varying ways nature inspires artists. One end of the spectrum is artwork that connects to the spiritual through the condition of being human (Human beings are part of nature, Berry pointed out).

Another stop is art designed to point out human transgressions against nature and issue calls to institute social change. Other artworks explore man’s impact on nature and nature’s impact on man, said Berry.

If the art raises questions of what’s good, what’s evil and where’s the best balancing point, then Berry will be happy. Even better may be considering the ways nature and humans intersect, weave together and support each other, she said.

“The artists [in the show] overlap in examining the act of how we use nature,” said Berry. “Some artists are exploring how humankind uses nature. Some are inspired by nature and integrate the cosmic. Others look at how we push boundaries. We are aware of changing climates, what we can control, what is not happening. And sometimes, it is nature that is fighting back.”

Here are a few details on the art in “Nature Incorporated”:

Installation Nina Yankowitz presents the video installation ”Global Warming Window.” This was featured in the 2011 MuseumsQuartier project space in Vienna, Austria.

Video still from "Global Warming Window" by Nina Yankowitz. Courtesy Art Sites.

Eco-artist Lillian Ball is exhibiting sculpture related to her “Waterwash” installation in the Bronx, NY. Ball is known nationally for her sustainable environmental art projects. Most of her work aims to interact with real environments to generate improvements

Ball curation of the show “Called to Action: Environmental Restoration by Artists” at Art Sites gallery in 2007 inspired the founding of Peconic Green Growth.

Andrea Cote is showing her Body Print Mandelas, presenting lithographs that relate to her performance art. The works present as the cosmic mandela form and are created from molds of her body and reference a holistic order.

Scott McIntire is presenting art that references local, invasive flora with images and symbols that add layers of meaning, as well as paintings referencing conceptual impacts of climate change.

Ulf Skogsbergh and Hope Sandrow are exhibited photography montages. Sandrow also presents an installation. Oxnam exhibits weathered wood sculptures.

Architect Hideaki Ariizumi is exhibiting watercolors that “…explore the integration of the natural landscape with built forms, breaking down the concept barriers between man and nature-made environments,” according to the exhibition release. Ariizumi is a licensed architect in the United States and Japan.

“Considering Global Warmth” by Scott McIntire. Courtesy Art Sites.

There are two fundraising events to benefit Peconic Green Growth. On Sept 30, conceptual artist Hope Sandrow presents her open air studio. Tour goers can meet directly at the studio at 2 p.m. or at Art Sites at 1:15 p.m. The cost is $50.

On Oct 20, exhibiting artist Robert Oxnam will present “Inspired by Old China: Gardens and Rocks” at 3 p.m. at Art Sites gallery. The fee is $10 or free for Peconic Green Growth members. Oxnam is an author, writer, former cultural emissary and the former president of the Asia Society. His talk includes a discussion about the impact Chinese gardens and scholars have made on Contemporary Chinese art and on his own artwork.  

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BASIC FACTS: “Nature Incorporated” opens tomorrow (Saturday, Sept 22) and runs through Nov 4, 2012. An opening party will be held on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Also opening is “Portraits: Art by Tracy Heneberger.” The show runs concurrently with “Nature Incorporated.”

Information and registration for both events can be found at artsitesgallery.com.

Art Sites is located at 651 West Main St, Riverhead, NY. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. artsitesgallery.com.

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Artwork by Tracy Heneberger exhibited in "Portraits." Courtesy Art Sites.

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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