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Trail Mix: Navigating the Visual Tradition of Nature at Coalition Gallery

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Trail Mix: Navigating the Visual Tradition of Nature

Guest Curator Angela Bryant of Abryant Gallery

Take a hike in the new CAC exhibition space and encounter the nature-based work of Christie Helm, Adrienne Pike, and Connie Wolfe.

Through three separate mediums, these artists engage with the age-old tradition of artworks generated by our experience of the natural world. The paint, clay, inks and paper of Helm, Pike and Wolfe also push the boundaries of the visual tradition of nature, capturing and highlighting aspects of the natural environment with unique points of view. Helm’s bold palettes and brushstrokes are contrasted by Wolfe’s effortlessly subtle layering of tones and shadows, while Pike’s incorporation of physical indexes from the landscape helps bring the outdoors in.

Christie Helm‘s abstractions of tree trunks employ vivid colors that quickly draw the viewer in, but it is their textured surface that encourages a longer stay.  Helm’s trees are symbolic of both growth and life, and she conveys this idea through her careful layering process.  Building up each surface through multiple layers of paint, the artist makes the journey just as important as the destination.

 

Natural elements are constantly infused into Adrienne Pike’s process of harvesting her own clay from a local creek to make her pottery, and her unique usage of horsehair brings an unexpected visual treat.  By allowing the hair to singe onto the newly fired pot, she creates an innovative mark-making tool that mimics both the beauty and unpredictability of nature.

 

Inspired by the rich textures and colors found in nature, Connie Wolfe uses paper to translate her meditative observations. Wolfe pays careful attention to shadows and negative space, always allowing plenty of breathing room within her work.  Viewers are not only left with a feeling of peace, but hopefully a desire to view nature in a more thoughtful way.

 

 

An exhibition featuring the work of Zach Mory and Chicago Art Magazine’s Managing Editor, Robin Dluzen will be on display in the Project Space for the duration of Trail Mix.

Both exhibitions will be on display June 10- July 5, with an opening reception Friday, June 10 from 6:30-9:00pm.

This exhibition will be the first held in the Coalition Gallery’s new West Loop location, 217 North Carpenter, Chicago.