What Shall We Do With Our Hearts

December 2020

We’ve lost so much. Forced to come to terms with fears, regrets, and loneliness, we find within ourselves and in the world qualities we did not know, and reacquaint ourselves with what has been neglected or denied. Trees and wildlife are succumbing to drought, fire, and human development, and our oceans are dying. People we care for and untold millions we do not know suffer. Our hearts must celebrate them and protect them as best we can. We have been given lives that have permitted us to make manifest in the material world our feelings, insights, and hopes—to make art out of suffering, out of our struggles.

Rachel Binah

Working alone while sequestering, making paper/fiber constructions changes the subject of ever-present disturbing national and world events. Sewing is especially comforting. It calms me. I use heavy watercolor paper, thread, twine, ribbons, cardboard, fabric, paint, pencils, window screening, and odd combinations of unrelated materials in my work. The textures created by the layers of the materials are reminiscent of the many ways ocean water presents itself, here at the edge of our country.

I often think about how we must protect the ocean in order to survive. It’s been said that the ocean and the trees are the lungs of the planet. The Futility of Trying to Mend the Ocean Once it is Destroyed explores pollution from our overfishing, dumping plastics, oil spills, and debris. In Big Blue I continue the theme of human naiveté about the vastness of the ocean and how we choose to look away, hide, and cover-up. Pelagic II is about the raw power of the ocean, metaphorically.

Focusing on the moment, in the moment, is what helps me survive this difficult time. For more information, please contact me at rachel@mcn.org.

Miriam Davis

I value quiet moments relaxing, maybe drifting into a nap, when an image may arise that has intensity and possibilities. If nourished, it may come to material life in clay, or in arrangements of found objects. Several of these sculptures speak to the uncertainty, loss, and unexpected nature of our experience, especially in recent times.

I follow a different path in my painting, with no subject idea ahead of time. I aim for space and transparency, and a feeling of freedom. The painting develops as one color, one mark suggests another.

For more information about my work, please contact me at mdavis@mcn.org.

Virginia Stearns

Like all living things, each individual tree is shaped and marked by the opportunities and struggles with its home, reaching for the rays of light, hunkering down from the winds, expanding and shrinking with absorbed moisture and healing from drought, floods and the predations of insects, animals, and humans. Each tree bears a unique form.

Lately it seems as though I am mourning the loss of a number of trees in my circle of plant friends through old age, succession, drought, fire, and sacrifice to human whim. I miss them and want to honor them and the precious ones still living.

For more information or to purchase, contact me directly at Ginnystearns@gmail.com.

What Shall We Do With Our Hearts

December 2020

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