eARTh, Gallery One Special Exhibition with Old Saybrook Land Trust
Gallery One at the Clayhouse
Jan. 1, 2023 - Jun. 12, 2011
The Artists of Gallery One are exhibiting original works that are dedicated to celebrating the ecological treasures found in our own back yard. Appropriately, the exhibition is being presented in collaboration with the Old Saybrook Land Trust and is entitled “eARTh.” It runs from May 10 through June 12.
The public is invited to meet the artists, and members and representatives of the Land Trust from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20 at the Opening Reception, which will also feature refreshments and music by Matt McCauley and the Jazz Circle.
“This collaboration between our members and the Artists of Gallery One is inspired,” says Laurel Friedmann, board member of the Old Saybrook Land Trust and alumna of the Lyme Acedemy College of Fine Arts. “We both share a profound appreciation for the ecological wonders that surround Old Saybrook. The Connecticut River estuary, alone, is nationally and internationally recognized for its ecological significance. Artists capture and preserve nature – that moment when a breeze ripples the surface of a pond, when a sun sets on a tidal marsh, or dampness creates an abstraction out of the textures of lichen clinging to a rocky outcrop. The members of the Trust preserve and protect Old Saybrook’s irreplaceable natural resources – its tidal wetlands and river systems, estuaries, forested uplands and inland wetland habitats and continually increase the community’s awareness of the natural wealth that surrounds them.” Friedmann concluded, “This is a wonderful, natural collaboration.”
Pastelist Diana Rogers, says, “As an artist, I find that nature inspires me the most. I am fortunate to live in this beautiful part of Connecticut where the land meets major rivers and the Long Island Sound. It’s at this cross-road in nature that provides endless subject matter for art. It is also the place where our environment is most at-risk. Salt marshes and unspoiled land along Connecticut waterways is disappearing at a fast pace. Yet, the marshes and watershed areas provide us so much protection. These are the resources that filter pollution from our water, provide essential habitat for fish and sea life and define the beauty of Connecticut.”
Among the work by member artists, Ashby Carlisle has created branches of what is commonly called the Money Plant or Silver Dollar. “When I observe the plant, Lunaria Annua growing and reproducing, it appears to create an endless supply of itself. For me this plant could represent the worldview in which resources cannot be depleted and exist solely for our personal consumption. In my opinion this point of view puts all of earth at risk.
“To create the Silver Dollar seed pods I used numbers recycled from financial reports and old Stop’n Shop plastic bags. The seeds within the pods were made from recycled wrapping paper. The branch and structure for the sculpture were put together from miscellaneous materials found around the studio.”
David Brown’s paintings of his Hayhouse Chickens represent how he and area restaurants work to reduce food waste in the area. Bureau’s Sugarhouse, The Courtyard Restaurant, Cuckoo’s Nest, Foodworks II, J.A.M.S.S. Restaurant, Luigi’s and Pat’s Country Kitchen save their scraps which are picked up daily to feed the chickens. This wide variety of food is responsible for producing what Jacques Pepin has called “some of the best eggs in New England.” Brown says that all that chicken poop results in enough compost to thoroughly and organically fertilize the farm. Some of the chickens live in “chicken tractors,” portable coops that move each week and fertilize the town’s largest hayfield which is surrounded by the Great Cedars conservation area.
The atmospheric mindscapes of Denise Gaffney Hartz are inhabited by basic and essential elements, this time overlaid with the character of nature and appropriately named “Mist,” “Mud,” “Green,” and “Home.”
And in the collaborative spirit of the exhibition, Will Nelson and Judith Osborne bring photograph and brush-lettered text together to enhance the experience of river, woods and wooded wetland.
Member artists exhibiting work are David Brubaker and Ashby Carlisleof Old Lyme; David Brown, Chien Fei Chiang and Denise Gaffney Hartz of Old Saybrook; Nile Barrett and Nancy Tracy or Westbrook; Kay Knight Clarke and Paul Harper of Essex; William G. Nelson, Judith Barbour Osborne, Rick Silberberg and Jill Vaughn of Ivoryton; Diana Rogers of Clinton; Elizabeth Boyd of Madison; and Diana Perron and Maureen Squires of Branford.