Millington Rape, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 72"
This painting started out as a landscape coming from winter into spring, full of color - “new grass” greens, flowery pinks. But during its 37 different iterations, it began to demand an ominous darkness. And there was something about the fallen tree that seemed to scream “Violation!”
Forty-eight artists, member of the New York Artists Circle, have contributed to this online exhibition curated by Fran Beallor and Barbara Sherman. The full exhibition can be viewed at:
The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change, published October 2020, features some of the best writing on global warming from the last three decades, including Pulitzer Prize-winning works by Elizabeth Kolbert, the "eloquent voice of conscience," and Bill McKibben’s heroically prescient essay “The End of Nature,” the first truly extensive exploration of climate change for a non-science audience. With climate change denying politicians and their constituencies still ignoring the cries of the planet, these writers sound the alarm: if nothing is done, there will be nothing left.
Inspired to action, Barbara Sherman, director of Art at First Gallery in New York City conceived an exhibition, Save the Earth, as the New York Artists Circle's Response to the Climate Crisis. Sherman teamed up with NYAC co-leader, Fran Beallor, to curate this important show but it was canceled due to the Pandemic.
Revised, reformatted, and renamed for this online presentation, Beallor and Sherman are thrilled to present Fragile Earth: Artists respond to Climate Change. NYAC artists responded from a myriad of vantage points. Some seek to educate, some call us to action, while others seek to memorialize endangered species or wilderness settings. All see the crisis against the backdrop of their individual aesthetics and believe that voices and art have a significant impact.
As the work was reviewed, themes emerged: forests in bloom and on fire; glaciers with secret writings and melting majesty; aerial views of threatened vistas; close ups of endangered animals, birds and botanicals; moments of nature in the urban environment; things we take for granted. Some artists examine the beauty and threat of our industrial landscape, sometimes using text and graphs to highlight the issues in a more overtly political manner. Others create their work from recycled materials so that the very creation of the work becomes a statement about our environment. There is a strong thread of abstraction, a poetic approach to the intense internal feelings that this crisis evokes.
Patterns in the art reflect patterns in nature, mathematical and rhythmical, symmetrical and fractal, incorporating tessellations, stripes and spirals, meanders, waves and foams. A certain unity of the varied colors of nature arose in the curation: a preponderance of earthly colors, intense turquoise and glacial blues, and the verdant greens of flora, combined with a host of fiery tones that reflect the heat of a warming planet. Using paint, sculpture, mixed media, print making, collage, and photography, the combined voices of these 48 artists creates an iridescent richness of sentiments of both hope and horror, beauty blended with the sadness of loss, and a bloom of optimism.
Even without an Opening Event, and despite pandemic conditions, we had a really great turnout! Most visitors made appointments and everyone remained masked and kept the proper social distancing. This slow but steady stream of visitors allowed me to greet people individually or in very small groups, and gave us the chance for meaningful in-depth conversations about the art.
Here is the press release:
To visit the show and see all of my paintings, go to https://www.artfare.com/juliarooney
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I'm honored to have been invited for the seventh year in a row to participate as a Visiting Artist in Harvard's Freshmen Arts Program. This year I gave two Ink/Collage Masterclasses to incoming students. What a pleasure to be able to share my passion for this work with new artists!
I was privileged to lead an intensive 4-day workshop in Ink/Collage at the gorgeous Baer Art Center in Hofsos, Iceland. We had an amazing group of serious and talented artists all enthusiastic about experimenting and pushing their norms - it was very exciting for all of us!
My partner Rick and I rented car and 4x4 to travel the perimeter of Iceland and venture into the interior, which is open only 2 months a year because of the climate. This was an extraordinary trip, and Iceland is back at the top of our Bucket List to return and spend a longer time there!
I was gifted with a special month's Artist Residency for Alumni Fellows at fabulous I-Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. Winter was slowly turning into Spring, a bit wet to work outdoors, but my huge studio had a floor to ceiling wall of glass overlooking trees and walks in the woods provided me with inspiring source material for a new body of ink and acrylic collages.
My oil painting Passport appears in NBC's hot new television series New Amsterdam!
Passport was inspired by my month-long photographic assignment in Egypt in 2006, and it took me over a period of 12 years to get every little "portrait" to have its own sense of presence.