Nature-themed exhibition closing soon

Published 7:01 pm Saturday, May 28, 2016

“Handle with Care,” an exhibition expressing the balance between humans and nature, is on display for one more week at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave.

This exhibit is presented by Suffolk Art League and Suffolk Art Gallery and features work by 57 artists from across Hampton Roads.

Climate change, pollution, chronic disease and habitat destruction — the list of humanity’s negative interactions with nature can be discouraging. But habitat reclamation, renewable energy and emissions standards show that there is a growing interest in trying to slow the demise of our “blue marble.” Artists were invited to exhibit artworks that deal with the many facets of this discussion.

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Shelley Brooks, gallery director for the Visual Arts Center at Tidewater Community College Portsmouth, served at the Judge for the exhibition.

“For me, judging this program was a highly contemplative experience,” Brooks said. “Because the historic balance between humans and nature has never been as serious and as potentially life-altering as it is right now, this exhibition is extremely relevant and well timed.”

“We are very appreciative of our donors who generously gave cash prizes for the award winning artists,” said Linda Bunch, Suffolk Art League executive director. “It is wonderful to be able to provide this financial support to the wonderful artists who have entered the exhibition.”

The first-place award was sponsored by TowneBank. Ryan Lytle received the honor for three mixed-media sculptures.

“This triptych of female figures can be interpreted in many ways,” Brook said. “For me, they allude to one possible future appearing incomplete, dark and disfigured. Ryan’s creative process of repurposing plastic grocery bags is clever, and provides works that are interesting and textural.”

Additional awards were sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Richard Barry, Carol Johanningsmeier, Suffolk Art League, an anonymous donor and Suffolk Downtown Arts. These were awarded to:

4Barry award: Suzanne Morris Pruitt for her photograph “Time and Tide, Tangier Island, VA”

4Johanningsmeier Award: Thomas Siegmund for his three photographs on wood “Luna,” “Dead Head” and “Flight.”

4The Handle with Care (anonymous award) went to Dana Adams for her two mixed media works “Street Walk” and “Love Your Mother.”

4Ann Ruel received the Suffolk Art League Award for her clay teapot and cups, “What Would You Miss Without Bees?”

4Beth Netts received the Suffolk Downtown Arts Award for her hand-blown glass works “Man vs. Nature” and mixed media “Safe Haven.”

Handle with Care is on display through June 3.