Forces of Nature
September 4 - January 9
Our environment can leave us in awe and the forces within nature inspire us to create. Regional artists working through many mediums come together to exhibit their interpretation of the the "Forces of Nature" in this unique juried art exhibition.
Open Fridays-Sundays, Noon-4pm
Closed Oct 23-24, Nov 26-28, Dec 24-Jan 2
Visit in person to vote for your Community Choice Award winner!
Meet the Judges
The visual art judges for this show were Dr. Andrew Svedlow, Professor of Art History at UNC and Chad Seelig, Adjunct Professor of Electronic Art at CSU. The judges met prior to the opening of the show to peruse the works and make their selections for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and honorable mention. See our winners above!
This exhibition also included poetry from regional poets. The 21 selected poems are on display alongside the visual art in the gallery, and they create a lovely narrative to go along with the strong imagery of the artwork. The poetry judges were Lynda La Rocca and Lorrie Wolfe and the winning poems can be read below.
- 1st Place: "The Vocabulary of Heat" by Amy Irish
- 2nd Place: "At the Window" by Kathleen Cain
- 3rd Place: "Desert Monsoon" by Anita Jepson-Gilbert
The Vocabulary of Heat
By Amy Irish
I thought I knew pyrotechnics.
Forbidden sparks catching in a state
built of kindling. Fire so wild
we destroy even more
to contain the contagion.
Inhaling smoke and cinders.
And long-term water shortages
drying all the way down the aquifer
to our heat-stroked cells.
But now extremes crack open the dictionary
to words too hot to handle.
when a firestorm cloud is formed
by thermals rising from fire.
120 degrees flown in on a jet stream
so the power cables melt
and the roads buckle
and the flesh of the trees ignites.
Or like the anticyclone that forms,
the sky a whirling dervish dome
that traps hot air, intensified
to the point of lightning.
I know we are headed for megadrought,
for the funerals of failed grids
that die trying to keep us alive.
I can stretch to grasp the feedback loop
such heat creates, the greenhouse
within a greenhouse effect.
But then I learn of the cryo-seism,
sounding deceptively frozen.
In Alaska, glaciers melt so fast
they are seismic events, ice shearing
and falling to the tune of a 2.7 magnitude
on a single day.
With such words to learn, my mouth
goes dry, starts to smolder.
I struggle with language smoking
like ash and cinder,
unable to choke it down.
But I shouldn’t be forced
to swallow such extremes—
now is the time to spit
them out, fight the fire
with every fiber,
before the whole world burns.
At the Window
By Kathleen Cain
I stare long enough
to imagine a forest
of spruce trees.
enters my skin
until I begin
to be sure
Words drift out of
range like pollen
I rise slowly,
begin to gain
in one place.
Hold my arms out
to see what the sky
has to offer.
The wind arrives.
I remember all
the words I know
to describe the air.
By Anita Jepson-Gilbert
we grow weary
of the desert‑‑
her parched arroyos,
her cloudless, endless blue.
We wait, facing south, wistful
for those first welcome signs,
like bales of Mexican cotton,
to come tumbling over ragged mountains.
There, they gather and spin
then weave themselves
into the canyon, dyeing quickly
into long, black drapes
that sweep coolly
across our nakedness.
And when they lift,
we dance to songs of faithfulness,
and even the land runs wild.