Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Boxheart, Phipps Exhibit Links Nature with Art

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Boxheart, Phipps Exhibit Links Nature with Art

Article excerpt

Painterly creation meets conservation as three artists physically connect the dots between nature and art in a new exhibition in two places.

Nicole Capozzi, owner and director of BoxHeart Gallery, contacted the three artists in late 2015 in hopes of celebrating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which established federal prohibitions on pursuing, hunting or killing migratory birds.

Out of this collaboration, "Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze and Deirdre Murphy: Emergent Patterns" grew. The exhibition, which examines the collective behavior inherent in bird activity, opened late last month at Phipps Conservatory's Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Oakland and begins at BoxHeart Gallery in Bloomfield on Tuesday.

Jordyn Melino, Phipps' exhibit coordinator, said the selection of art ties in well with the theme of biophilia, the subject of a recent talk by Ms. Cecil and Ms. Murphy at Phipps. She said she felt a connection between the women's artwork and the gallery space itself.

"Biophilia is human's inherent love for nature. That can be found in all relationships and through life," Ms. Melino said.

Each artist approaches familiar subjects - flora and fauna, mostly including birds - through a different lens.

Ms. Cecil, a Pittsburgh-based artist, prefers to create her work using live sketches. During a recent residency at Phipps, she studied birds and flowers inside the Victorian glasshouse. Now she studies taxidermy bird and insect specimens at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, creating artwork supporting BirdSafe Pittsburgh, an initiative to reduce bird collisions with buildings. Unfortunately, it's the most common way humans kill birds, much higher than hunting.

Ms. Cecil describes the pattern work in her painting as Victorian. Most pieces feature a combination of illustration and fine art techniques. …

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