For the month of May, Bunnell presents Changing Landscapes, a group invitational exhibit featuring new work by Deb Lowney, Sharlene Cline and Kristin Link. Exhibit opening will be on May 5th from 5-7pm, artist talks at 6pm.
As human activities increase the rate at which natural processes like glacial retreat, weathering and erosion shape the landscape, what agency do artists offer as witnesses, interpreters and documentarians of disappearing landscapes? How do artists steward how we hold and express feelings about change? How might art help humans find strength, reckon with loss, and face what is revealed with courage, purpose and love?
Sharlene Cline Statement:
These paintings not only share the magnitude of Alaska’s beauty but our effects on our landscapes. My hope is if we love our landscapes then maybe we will protect our natural surroundings.
I start with the landscapes’ shapes and move to a place of instinct – grabbing colors, layering brush strokes, creating texture, and then I add mounting elements to intensify the work, so the viewer can experience Alaska and her scars.
Kristin Link Statement:
“If you opened people up we’d find landscapes” said film director Agnès Varda. Living in Alaska in the 2020s makes me wonder how watching the places we love and know change affects us. This project has taken shape over years of getting to know glaciated landscapes and watching climate change erode something that is already dynamic. My work bears witness to disappearing and dramatically changing landscapes. It also illuminates the beauty in change, and expresses a faith that whatever is left behind when the ice melts will be worthy of our attention. I create detailed, meditative drawings because I am interested in the conversation that happens through dedicating time for paying attention. I work with cyanotype to expose pen and ink negatives in sunlight and create something that is part photo, part drawing, part memory, and part collaboration with the weather.
Deb Lowney Statement:
Living in Homer is like living in a national park. I pause daily to take in our views, but also to acknowledge the significant changes I have observed over the years. My artistic exploration delves into the impact of climate change on our environment and our lives. I capture our amazing landscapes in wooden sculpture, and memorialize them. I want viewers to make a connection not only to the image, but to the detail, the texture, perhaps the color. I am drawn to the simplicity of black and white emphasizing the definitiveness of climate change, and hopefully asking the viewer to contemplate this environmental catastrophe. Poet Mary Oliver captures my sentiments with this statement, “What does it mean that the earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it?”
Sharlene Cline captures the spirit of Alaska’s nature in painting. Prior to moving Homer, Alaska in 1995, she studied brush painting with master painter Yang O-Shi in Taiwan for three years, which informs her current work that combines ink, watercolor, collage, acrylic, and experimental mounting. She uses her art to share her awe of the natural world and to challenge viewers about their relationship to one another and the acceleration of climate change as in her 2011 curation of 350 Earth student exhibit at Bunnell Street Art Center and 2018 installation Our Playground at Homer Council on the Arts. Sharlene teaches brush painting and art to students locally and throughout Alaska including the Artist in Schools program. She has curated several exhibits and exhibited extensively in Alaska and nationally in Washington DC, Baltimore, Seattle area and Miami, with works held in permanent collections of Cordova and Valdez Museums and in numerous private collections worldwide.
Kristin Link is a fine artist, illustrator, and educator inspired by the natural world. Kristin’s work can be found on interpretive signs, in educational materials, school murals, books and magazines. Spending time outdoors, nature journaling and sketching are important parts of Kristin’s practice and her goal is to tell stories and foster connection between people and the natural world. Kristin lives with her partner and dog in an off-the-grid cabin near McCarthy, AK on the edge of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, which is Ahtna Athabaskan land. She frequently explores the braided glacial river bed of the Nizina as well as the white ice and moraines of the Root and Kennicott Glaciers.
Art is an important connection to my community, my environment, my world. In 1999 I retired from a teaching career to focus on art. I studied woodcarving with Leo Vait. Early projects, usually small, were created using knives and chisels in an 8’x24’ building, now my paint room. My focus was on the familiar, wildlife, the human body, everyday objects. Slowly I progressed to bigger pieces demanding bigger tools, and a larger workspace. I found my voice in my hands and in the wood. In 2015 I became a board member at Bunnell Street Art Center combining my love of community with art. Bunnell broadened my vision of art and its potential to embrace community and address social issues that impact us. During the past few years my artistic focus has been on independent study. I started experimenting with a wide variety of tools and techniques attempting to more clearly define my current artistic process and pursuit.