|33 IDEAS! PARTICIPANTS
Mary Ellen Campbell
Mary Ellen Long
Lauri Lynxxe Murphy
Alex Van Ark
Colorado artist Sherrie York credits her interest in nature to a college field trip in which she and her classmates were challenged to sketch strutting, squabbling chickens in a Nebraska backyard. “It was exciting, challenging, and infuriating,” she laughs. “Feathers and pencils were flying every which way… I loved it!”
Although she didn’t realize it at the time, that afternoon sparked an interest in drawing from life that would lead her to work as a painter and printmaker of natural history subjects, as well as a designer and illustrator of nature-focused educational materials.
Observation is the core of Sherrie’s work, whether she is making of watercolor sketch of tidbits collected on a neighborhood hike or carving a complex linocut block of pinecones and leaf litter. “I am especially drawn to subjects that might be overlooked if I were moving too quickly through a landscape,” she explains. “Weedy tangles along a ditch or bones and feathers in a field suggest lives and stories that I can barely imagine. I see so much when I take a walk, for example, but it always makes me wonder what I just missed, or what will happen after I’ve passed by.”
Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions, as well as several books and museum collections. She has been invited to and participated in projects of the international Artists for Nature Foundation in Holland and Spain, and has been Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park. In the summer of 2010 Sherrie’s journals will be included in the exhibit “Drawing on Nature,” at the New Mexico Museum of National History and Science.
About the DIA Project
My work is firmly rooted in the centuries-old tradition of artist/naturalists. Illustrated journals are one facet of my creative practice, which focuses primarily on natural history subjects and my relationship to them.
At my core I am a wanderer— the sort of person who must take loop trails rather than out-and-back routes because she might not otherwise ever make her way home again.
I always want to be a part of what ever is around the next curve.
I live in a small mountain town, where opportunities to wander are frequent, even if it’s just to the post office or five blocks to the river. As I wander, I encounter the gamut of life and death -- and am reminded of my connection to a world much bigger than my daily cares. A spring-bud-laden tree swarming with bees can seem extraordinary after too much time at a computer, as can the tiny tragedy of a songbird’s death at a window. Are such moments any less worthy of record than myriad “to do” lists? Is it more valuable to tell our social networks that we can’t find matching socks than to describe the delicate and intricate web spun by the spider under the stairs?
Keeping an illustrated journal is a commitment to spending time with my self and my surroundings, and to honoring that time with a record.
Making a journal entry means I step out of the fast pace of daily life, step away from the keyboard, and focus. I agree to pay attention and the universe agrees to provide experiences from the mundane to the miraculous. A nature journal is a record of these moments and is my testament to the wonders I have been privileged to witness.
33 IDEAS!, an exhibit of art, writing and ideas
March 15-June 15,
Denver International Airport
This exhibit showcases visual and literary artists associated with Colorado Art Ranch as presenters, artists in residence, or Nomads at one or more Artposia. The artists were selected because they use their passion, skills, knowledge, and talent to ask questions and react to the world around them. The work, in turn, inspires us to ask questions and view the world from different perspectives.
33 IDEAS! is on display at the Ansbacher Hall: The Art of Colorado, on the walkway between the terminal and A Gates before the security screening. The hall is accessible for everyone’s enjoyment.
For more information contact DIA Art Program at
(303) 342-2521 or visit www.flydenver.com/art
Keep update on the program.
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