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Bugs, Birds & Beasts Set to Amaze and Delight

Silver Maples of Chelsea is pleased to host the “wild” art of seven fabulous artists for a collaboration of mixed media, including textile, 3-D, watercolor, acrylic, digital silk imaging, and more. The exhibit runs through December 31, 2015.

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Karen Turckes and Jill Andrews are two of the artists exhibiting in Gallery 100’s “Bugs, Birds & Beasts,” running through Dec. 31, 2015.

The exhibit features the work of Jill Andrews, Valerie Mann, Karen Turckes, RC Berentsen, Lindsey Dahl, Tammy Burke and Nancy McKay. The brainchild of Silver Maples resident volunteer Gallery 100 coordinator, Lois deLeon, and Ann Arbor fiber artist Nancy McKay, the fanciful collection runs the gamut from weirdly welcoming bugs to colorful beasts of the wild to the natural beauty and serenity of Sandhill Cranes and White Herons.

Andrews, who is a doll maker and fiber artist created many of the bugs in the show. And she’s thrilled to be a part of this exhibit.

“The show offers a talented group of local artists’ perspectives on the beauty and wonder of our planet’s wildlife,” she said. “The theme fits so well with my current interest in experimenting with recycled and found objects that are assembled and decorated, and which become various types of large insects and/or creatures of indeterminate origin. I never grow tired of seeing a mix of surprise, curiosity, horror and delight in the faces of the people who view and appreciate my creations.”

Mann, who has been enchanted by the shapes, movements, feathers and behaviors of birds since she was a kid, uses wire as a 3-dimensional way to explore birds’ intangible qualities and mostly re-purposed materials.

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One of Valerie Mann’s birds constructed out of re-purposed materials.

“I’ve worked in this way long before it was cool,” she said. “I attribute this to farm life because we always saved things in case we needed to patch something in the future. It has, however, always been important to me that the previous life of the material isn’t necessarily evident – craftsmanship and design take priority in the pieces. The materials transcend their previous lives.”

She says working with re-purposed materials requires a lot of problem solving – her favorite part of making art.

“Practicing problem solving in art pieces gets the mind working, thinking and open to solutions not before considered. If I can think about an ‘art problem’ in new ways, then I not only build skills for the art studio, but I train my mind to think in a problem solving mode. ‘Practicing problem solving’ is the key phrase for my art making.”

McKay describes herself as an interpretive artist, and often features subjects from protected landscapes. As artist-in-residence with the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon, Hot Springs, and Badlands National Parks and locally with Legacy Land Conservancy, she’s had the opportunity to connect and relate to viewer’s experiences. Her medium is silk painting, including digital imaging on silk.

Tammy Burke and Lindsey Dahl are two of the artists in Gallery 100's "Bugs, Birds & Beasts" exhibit running through the end of 2015.
Tammy Burke and Lindsey Dahl are two of the artists in Gallery 100’s “Bugs, Birds & Beasts” exhibit running through the end of 2015.

“Bugs, Birds & Beasts” continues through December 31, 2015. Silver Maples is located at 100 Silver Maples Dr., on the St. Joe-Chelsea campus. Gallery 100 hours are Sunday through Saturday, 10 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.silvermaples.org

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