Natural Inclinations


Opening Reception

Friday, January 4th, 2013: 6 PM-9 PM

First Friday Trolley Hop Friday, February 1st, 2013: 6 PM-9 PM  

In a technology-oriented society, many individuals crave a reconnection with the natural world.  For artists, this craving has fostered an exploration of natural objects and materials, and a re-thinking of imagery, approaches, and mediums.  This shared affinity is presented in Natural Inclinations, an exhibition that includes PYRO member, Bette Levy, along with invited guests Vallorie Henderson, Kay Polson Grubola, and James Grubola.  Each of these artists employs distinctly different approaches, styles, and mediums to convey their impressions and relationships with the world of nature.


Bette Levy typically works with meticulous hand embroidery in silk thread on black grounds, depicting abstract renditions of objects found in the world around her.  In this exhibition, in addition to her embroidered work, Levy also incorporates various new techniques and mediums.  Working with walnut ink, shibori, rust stain, burning, and discharge, Levy moves into new realms of production.  Much of her work focuses on topographical views of land and water.  Also included are examples of faux-calligraphy reflecting her interest in weather-beaten ancient texts. 


Vallorie Henderson, whose work has always had its origins in nature, now directs her attention to the traditional basket forms of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.  Incorporating a new approach to her felted, machine-stitched vessels, Henderson creates hyperbolic curves shaped from flat Nuno felt through a series of tucks, darts, pleats, and shearing techniques.  This method of construction allows her to work with felt that is more sheer and gossamer.  Multiple layers of thin merino wool and transparent silk organza create a complex blending of colors.


For Kay Polson Grubola, the eternal cycle of growth, death, and decay form the structure of the landscape and are the heart of its beauty.  For some time, Polson Grubola has explored organic objects presented in formal compositions.  Now, in Natural Inclinations, she turns her sights to feminism and the traditions of Celtic mythology, which has its roots in the cyclic patterns of nature.  This most recent work focuses on the adornment of the Goddesses using those materials closely associated with their domains.


A sense of order has always been an important component of James Grubola's work.  By layering lines, he has tried to define and develop the surface of the drawing and to explore such concepts as placement and inter-relatedness.  Previously, Grubola used sticks as source material for his drawings of architectural structures.  For Natural Inclinations, Grubola takes a new approach and looks at living features, such as thickets and vines.  Grubola works in gold and silverpoint, which allows the subtle variations in the colors of the two metals to create quiet spatial differences.


PYRO Gallery is open 12-6 PM on Thursday, and Friday and Saturday or by appointment.  The gallery is open late during opening receptions and First Friday Gallery Hop.  Admission to PYRO is free and open to the public.

Check out a review of the show here!