Community interaction programs to complement the Wilderness Mind: Dissolving Duality exhibition were offered each month of the exhibition. Spearheaded by collective member Sandra Mueller, they included a Summer Solstice Celebration in June where interactive art projects were intentionally sited in nature outside the gallery, a lively panel on the theme of exploration titled "Exploring the Known and Unknown" in July and a poetry reading with artist talks in August. Curator and artist talks also took place at the opening and closing receptions.
OPENING AND CLOSING RECEPTIONS— Curator and Artist Talks, Poetry Reading, Performance
The exhibition opened in mid-May during the well-attended annual Angels Gate Open Studio Day. The opening reception featured remarks by Angels Gate Director of Visual Arts, Isabelle Lutterodt, and exhibition tours including a walkthrough with Wilderness Mind: Dissolving Duality curator Deborah Thomas. For the closing reception that took place three months later, renowned poet Deena Metzger read several "wilderness" selections from Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems. That day also included an outdoor performance on the bluffs by Trish Stone, a dialogue with artists in the newly installed Project Space and artist talks for Wilderness Mind: Dissolving Duality in the Main Gallery.
Wilderness Mind: Dissolving Duality artists brought their art practices outside the gallery walls to celebrate the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year. Installation artist and sculptor MaryLinda Moss' breathtaking and profoundly moving performance titled of the earth...angels gate, tree, was intentionally sited adjacent to the hand-painted Cretan labyrinth provided by Annemarie Rawlinson. Similarly, France White and Sandra Mueller offered their participatory "Rainmaker" and "Spirit Shield" workshops in a shaded area adjacent to the gallery while Deborah Thomas' "Walking Meditation" path began outside the gallery door and led to the bluffs. As visitors went from one engaging offering to another, they personally experienced the artistic diversity of the programs and their collaborative nature (a hallmark of the SCWCA Eco-Art Collective) as well as the sense of "wonder" inspired by wilderness. Learn more about the Summer Solstice Celebration workshops, projects and performances.
EXPLORING THE KNOWN AND UNKNOWN — A Public Conversation
A lively panel discussion on the themes of expedition and exploration took place in the Main Gallery at Angels Gate Cultural Center in mid-July. Moderated by art historian, author and curator Betty Ann Brown, panelists included SCWCA Eco-Art Collective artists Marie Cenkner, Danielle Eubank, J.J. L'Heureux and Meg Madison, as well as Nicole Antebi whose The Geography of Reclamation project was installed in the downstairs Project Space. Eubank and L'Heureux shared their respective experiences as expedition artists on the Phoenicia (a replica of a 6th-century BCE boat that circumnavigated Africa) and as fine art photographer who had visited Antarctica 11 times. Antebi delved into the past with her project that excavated the long history of California's water politics while Cenkner and Madison—both keen observers of the contemporary urban landscape—offered discriminating insights into neighborhood ecology and the unnoticed plight of birds and other urban creatures. Brown welcomed the contributions from the audience participation throughout the afternoon ensuring an actual public conversation.