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“Living Show” Opening Night
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Liberty Arts came alive at opening reception for “The Living Show” on Friday, April 6th 2012.

A mild spring evening rounded out a day of welcome, gentle sunshine, making Friday’s opening of The Living Show at Liberty Arts a truly timely event.

At the reception, the crowd wandered happily amongst potted trees, a beautiful bonsai buddha-garden by Rajiv Hotek, Lewis Meyers’ future shiitake mushroom “plantation,” David Gochenour’s cacti and succulent ‘Three Stages of Life’ arrangement, and several other organic art elements.

A very young visitor immediately took up residence in curator Bill Wareham’s spectacular “Sod House”, whose lush-growth walls and roof are made entirely ‘of the earth.’

Belinda Hanson’s “And Then I Kissed Him” (shown above) lured visitors with the audible croaking of the Red Coral Tree frogs, which the artist recorded herself.

Hanson (in yellow) explained that it’s mostly male frogs that croak, and this is often used as their mating call. Apparently female frogs find the croaking very sexy.

During the discussion portion of the evening, several artists, including Rajiv Hotek (above in white) talked about the techniques and symbolism behind their work.

Mary Carpelan described her Native-American basket-weaving sculpture, which includes willow and roots, specially selected rocks and decoratively placed wire. Three air-plants make up the “living” portion of the piece, but since the number 4 is sacred to many Native Peoples, and being one fern short, Mary decided to add a fourth sprout of bear grass.

Nina Holzer’s beautifully meticulous, pedestrian-stopping window piece is also rich in symbolism. Set atop her hand-felted wool base, it features rocks, bones, corn and apricot pits, all lovingly collected from her walks and her garden, including a praying mantis cocoon.

The multiple seeds in Nina’s display represent dormant life awaiting rebirth, and when a visitor commented that “seeds are not alive,” Nina replied, “if they were not alive, none of us would be here!”

Daniel Salisbury of Ashland, OR, contributed “Mobius 10, Promise of Spring’s Return,” a fascinating 20 ft. concoction of wire and copper mesh twisted into infinity’s sign, with “color-sited” edge wires. His piece stirred great interest and plenty of head-scratching.

According to Dan, seeds are embedded into the Asian Wingnut bark stuffing, offering a potential “promise” to anticipate throughout the show.

Liberty Arts offers a special ‘Thank You’ to the curators of The Living Show, William Wareham (above, with artist Destiny Gaynor) and Lewis Meyers, Jr. (below left with artist Daniel Salisbury).

What do a jackal, a potato, an orchid, water, a checkerboard and a businessman have in common? Come and see for yourself over the next few weeks as you experience the organic vitality of The Living Show at Liberty Arts Gallery.

Runs through: Saturday, May 5, 2012.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10am – 5pm.

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Photos and Text by Bee Soulé and Kim Presley.

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