The new art exhibit, “Let the Trees Decide,” curated by Roger Dickes and Lara Bank, premiered at the art gallery on Saturday.
“I’m so excited about this show” said Dickes as he took out his cell phone and snapped multiple shots of the gallery. “The exhibition turned great, even though it was different co-curating an event that is so small.”
Co-curator Bank said, “This exhibition is inspired by nature. I think that’s why Roger asked me to help him curate this event because a lot of the art I show in my space is very inspired by nature.”
Even though they both said it was very different having two curators for a small event, Banks said “We are both very flexible people, so we were both able to see each others side of things when picking the pieces to go in this exhibition.”
The entire atmosphere of the gallery was inspired by nature from each art piece covering the walls of the gallery, to the plants that were running down the middle of the floor.
Steven Hiatt, an observer of the gallery and art buyer for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, said “This is an eclectic show, but I’m particularly attracted to that white piece on the far end of the wall. It’s very abstract and if you look very closely you can see that it’s not only white but there are different shades of off-white and gray within it.”
The piece that Hiatt praised, “Phase Out America, Tears,” was created by Marjam Oskoui.
Oskoui’s piece, at the far end of the gallery, looked like many white tears falling down the canvas. As Hiatt said, at first glance the painting looks just white, but after close observation, different shades of grey and other colors can be seen within the painting.
“I was inspired by my father’s death while making this piece,” said Oskoui, “Even though many people associate death with black and nothingness, that’s not true. Death is more of a transformation. It’s like a plant – just because it dies does not mean it’s no longer there. It’s just in a different form.”
Amy Green had two pieces on display – one large piece and a very small one, both untitled and crafted out of felt, both pieces were painted with multiple shades of green towards the center of the paintings and the outer edges were dotted with vibrant blues, yellows and oranges. “When I begin a project, I start by falling in love with a material and for these two pieces, it was felt.”
Green also said that even though felt is most associated with crafting, she loves to combine art and crafting to create one piece. She also said that she is very inspired by color, which is why both of her pieces are rich with bright and vibrant colors.
Some of the other artists that are featured at the exhibition are Frank Chang, John Roswell, Peter Kim, Jill Newman, Patrick Marcoux and Sun Tae Kim, who designed and put in the plants that were on the floor of the gallery.
All spectators agreed that it was an eclectic collection of art and even though each piece was different, they all complemented each other perfectly, From the almost psychedelic pieces created by John Roswell to the fire like sculpture created by Patrick Marcoux.
Even though everyone agreed that the exhibition was complete Banks said that there were two more pieces that she and Dickes were considering including but at the last minute, decided not to put them in after all.
It is the hope of both of the curators that every piece in the show evoked a sense of the all natural world in whatever direction they took to get to that point.
“Let the Trees Decide” will be up in the art gallery until May 2. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.