For many artists, nature is their muse. Places like the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, tucked into the middle of Lancaster, can nurture the budding artist or inspire the professional.
I talked to three of the artists featured in the “Peace on Earth” exhibit at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History to learn about how nature inspires their creativity and why preserving nature is so important.
I am inspired by nature and seek to raise awareness about environmental issues. I am also fascinated by animals, and study their structure and behavior for my work. I am always in awe of the sublime beauty of the natural world.
Preserving nature is important because without it, we lose our very souls. We humans are nature, and we cannot separate ourselves from it. The farther we go into urbanization and technology, the more we pollute the planet, the more we sign our own death warrants, and the death warrants of all future generations, and all life. It is essential that we preserve and respect nature, and that we spend time in natural areas.
As a city person, I discovered the natural world by traveling to remote corners of the globe, and this gave me an appreciation for the immense power nature has over us and our ability to master that power. These impressions have inspired my work in the way they speak to the balance of power between man and the animal kingdom, which seems to be a never-ending struggle.
The planet we live on thrives if nature is preserved, and our daily lives are diminished if we become disconnected from the natural world. In spite of my urban lifestyle, an important part of my routine involves hiking in parks. I would be at a loss without open spaces.
Nature is, in fact, what our world actually is. Humans are just a part of nature. With my art, I feel inspired to challenge the viewer to feel the natural spirit of inclusion. There is no corner of this planet that man does not live in, and no corner of which man has not caused change. We must be good stewards of this unique and wonderful planet Earth. Remember that extinction is forever.
Our natural world evolved over long periods of geological time. As a geologist I have worked to understand natural processes and the huge time period our Earth's history represents. Thus, I understand that preserving nature is equal to preserving life, something we all hold very precious. There have been five extraordinary mass extinctions in Earth's geological history, as natural forces caused environmental changes that almost sterilized the planet. We are now in a sixth period of mass extinction, but this time the cause of environmental change is MAN. There is no debate; the facts are in and they are highly scientific.
Our humanity is based in sharing the world with all other living things. Who does not smile upon seeing a blue sky with birds, a fawn nuzzling with its mom, or breathing fresh air and just feeling alive. Preserving nature is actually preserving our Mother Earth.
Peace on Earth continues at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History through April 21. An artist talk at 1 p.m. on March 16 will feature Cynthia Minet, Luke Matjas and Catherine Coan.
Artists in the exhibition are David Adey, Tami Bahat, Clayton Campbell, Catherine Coan, Emily Ding, Nancy Evans, Jane Fisher, Matthew Floriani, Simone Gad, James Griffith, Laurie Hassold, Chie Hitotsuyama, Kim Kimbro, Debbie Korbel, Laura Larson, Spenser Little, Emily Maddigan, Luke Matjas, Zachary Mendoza, Jen Meyer, Lori Michelon, Cynthia Minet, Bobbie Moline-Kramer, Stephen O’Donnell , Lori Pond, Robb Putnam, Margo Ray, Samuelle Richardson, Laurie Sumiye, Devin Thor, Laurence ValliEres and Scott Yoell.
Curated and organized by Andi Campognone and Robert Benitez.