Avon, Vail art displays ‘reconnect with the Earth’ | VailDaily.com

Avon, Vail art displays ‘reconnect with the Earth’

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Everyone can relate to Dr. Seuss. That’s why Eagle artist Robin Nash based a recent painting on the children’s book “The Lorax.”

Truffula trees topped with wooly plumes of leaves dominate the painting, which hangs in the Avon Public LIbrary. A reference to Seuss’ story, the painting “Return of the Truffala Trees” carries a message about preserving the environment. It is part of an exhibit titled “Reconnecting with the Rhythms of the Earth.”

“For me it relates because a lot of the environmental degradation and taking advantage of the environment and not caring so much happens because people have disconnected from the Earth,” Nash said.

“Return of the Truffula trees” picks up where “The Lorax” left off. In the story, a greedy creature named the Once-ler cuts down a forest of Truffula Trees so he can knit a product called the “Thneed” from the trees’ foliage. A tree-dwelling critter called the Lorax protests as the Once-ler destroys his habitat. Finally, the Once-ler ends up with a polluted and factory-clogged land devoid of Truffula trees. Racked with regret, the Once-ler tells a young boy use the only Truffula tree seed left to plant a new forest so “the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Such is the theory behind National Women’s History Month. During March, the National Women’s History Project urges Americans to reflect on women’s accomplishments throughout history and rally behind a specific cause. This year’s theme is “Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet.”

Locally, Nash mobilized a dozen female artists to create works of art based on that theme. The result is the exhibit “Reconnecting with the Rhythms of the Earth,” which will travel from Avon to Vail and finally to Boulder.

With the exhibit, Nash said she wanted to personalize the movement to save the environment.

“There are definitely some very iconic figures who have taken the lead but you have to ask, ‘Well how can we each on an individual level make a difference?'”

An avid gardener, Boulder resident Eowyn Burke has given a lot of thought to seeds lately.

“I’ve been reading a lot about seeds and the notion of seed saving and how important that is to the world and the future of mankind, and how it’s something that’s been lost,” she said.

Hanging on the wall of the Avon library is her creation, a clay statue of a pregnant Godess with hand-felted fruit hanging from it. Inside each piece of fruit lie three seeds known as “the three sisters” ” corn, beans and squash ” which Burke plans to hand out to people who attend an artist reception. The seeds played a key role in early Colorado agriculture, she said. Native American farmers planted the trio of seeds together because the seeds have a symbiotic relationship. Corn stalks serve as a trellis for the beans to climb; beans fix nitrogen to their roots, improving overall fertility of the plot and squash vines offer shade for the roots.

“It’s a piece of history that I feel like we should know living here,” Burke said.

For Dillon resident Lacey LeBaron, the project inspired a series of photo illustrations commenting on American consumerism. Her photos show a naked woman curled up on the floor, with what looks like a tree sprouting from her back. On closer inspection, the tree is a collection of toothpicks, which LeBaron sees as a “ridiculous consumer product that wastes a lot of wood.” The image is a metaphor for humans as a vehicle for destroying the planet, LeBaron said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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