A William Woods University art professor and two of his students are “Communicating the Majesty of the Natural World” through an art exhibit at the Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City. The exhibit runs through May 31.
The exhibit is part of a Mentor/Mentee project involving Terry Martin, professor of art, and students Sarah Williams of Brookfield, Mo., and Holly Dirnberger of Oran, Mo.
The display reflects exploration, of media and methods, in a variety of media. Their artistic goal was to match certain media and methods with the diversity of wildlife and nature. The pieces of art displayed are selected from a larger body of work.
The Runge Center is only one place the exhibit has been displayed. Other locations have included Fulton, Springfield, Kansas City and Marceline. Future exhibit locations include St. Louis and Poplar Bluff.
“By showing our work around this state we hope to promote the Mentor/Mentee program at our university and also motivate persons who enjoy art and nature to take a closer look at both,” Martin said. “We hope the outcome of our work will encourage conservation practices as well.”
Williams said, “Being involved in the Mentor/Mentee Program has given me wonderful opportunities to record how I see nature through exploration of materials and then to have them displayed for the public to see. This year, along with using more traditional mediums like oils and acrylics, I have been making collages which I feel are very dynamic and show a different side of the subjects that I portray.”
According to Martin, the preparation for this project required much reflection, sketching, and planning.
“We began our art production with joint discussions about outdoor memories and possible art methods, which might enhance the portrayal of certain subjects. The project required encouragement, and creative use of art media,” he said.
The artists hope that persons who see the exhibit will enjoy their diverse expressions. The creative work includes watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel (chalk) and collage.
“We hope viewers of our exhibit will react with a desire to make their own discoveries whether they are through art or through interaction with nature. We approach our work with a belief that visual expression and communication can be powerful when one is inventive and confident,” Martin said.
The goal, he said, is to show others the wonders of common materials used in creative ways.
“Nothing is ordinary if one looks for beauty. Look very closely at frost on a surface or even leaves on the ground and discover a wonderful design!”