"Witness To Creativity"
Florida Museum for Women Artists
Exhibition Dates: July 16, 2010 – Aug. 29, 2010
Watching art being made can be very inspiring. It allows the viewer to see the process in action instead of just the finished product. The idea...is to open the Museum to the public while the artists prepare their works. The public can engage the artists about their projects, work methods and messages. The artists involved are Jean Banas and Kathy O’Meara who are co-producing a work, Raina Benoit, Frances Gardner, Grace Leal, Martha Lent and Beau Wild.
“There will be an interesting mix between artists and visitors which is a great way to have art understood. Dialogue about a conceptual work while it is being made actually becomes part of the work," said curator David Swoyer.
Fran's piece, titled “Habitat,” witnesses a fragment of the enormity of the Gulf oil spill. The statistics are overwhelming and frightening, especially for those who live in coastal states and most especially for those who make their living from our natural resources. In this piece, the birds are an obvious visual representation of all life, including human, affected by the spill. The habitat of birds is delicate in the best of circumstances; the spill equates to dunking the entire ecosystem in oil. Thread represents the delicacy of this ecosystem -- beautiful if observed untouched, but easily disturbed or broken. The bird bath represents the literal cleansing of the birds as countless folks wash and release, wash and release, wash and release. The nest represents the actual habitat necessary for reproduction (this nest is from my yard in Heath Springs, South Carolina – I watched a family of mockingbirds use it from birth to flight, then leave behind this extraordinary work of fiber, a by-product of their procreation).
Special thanks to the University of South Carolina Lancaster for their support of this project and to Pat Zalisko for her expert assistance.
several photographs courtesy of Pat Zalisko