Go Green! exhibit presents art with a meaningful message

Simone Wolberg

I give two green thumbs up to the Go Green! exhibit, located at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross.

The gallery lies in a hidden enclave behind a row of flowers and a vegetable garden, and was established by the Marin Society of Artists in 1927.

The society showcased the exhibit May 14-30 as an homage to the provenance of the tree-laden place. The exhibit features 70 artists’ paintings, sculptures, and photography.

This exhibit refreshed my interest in art; not only was the artwork unique, but it portrayed a broader, timely message: take care of the planet and mind what you leave behind.

There were a few beautiful abstract pieces which caught my eye in what were otherwise a sea of realistic environmental artworks. Rather than painting a beach or mountain, these artists took an approach like no other, featuring strange perspectives and textures.

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This piece (above), Fantasy Forest by Douglas Slye, is vibrant, colorful and full of interesting texture. The rainbow-colored trees along with the color blocking in the sky gave the piece a fresh look. The jagged trees in the front, along with the pillowy clouds in the back, are another nice touch. The pink path, along with the multicolored “strips” of grass, add a depth that was lacking in many other pieces exhibited.

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In a yet another abstract take on the environment, Green with Envy by David Broad felt darkly intriguing. A sense of anger showed through the painting. The red-eyed bees and the hidden animals in the brush seem to give a convoluted stare. The more I looked at this painting, the more animals I saw looking back at me. I loved the use of dark, heavy colors which gave a textured, layered look.

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Untitled 1 by Bill Ussery, uses free association to its advantage. The gray building-like blocks seem overcome with splatters of green and red, suggesting that nature is reclaiming the land. A paean to Romanticism, its varied paint stroke along with use of uncomplimentary, yet visually pleasing colors resonates with the observer.

Students interested in environmental activism should visit this exhibit for creative inspiration.