The McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC, will present the exhibit, The Green Shadow, featuring works by Jeff Schmuki and Heather Lewis, on view from Apr. 15 through Aug. 19, 2011. An opening reception will be held on Apr. 15, from 6-9pm and a closing reception will be held on Aug. 18, from 6-9pm.

Heather Lewis offered the following statement about her work: “Mass production is a familiar concept - most of my possessions are made in factories. Mass production relies on deskilling, or removing skill from production processes, often achieved by using templates and stencils.”

“Using stenciling and simple technology within a fine art value system separates the idea of deskilling from its commercial framework, and at the same time opens up traditional definitions of drawing for re-evaluation,” adds Lewis. “For example, a shadow could be defined as a drawing according to traditional criteria: it accurately translates a 3D situation into 2D format consistent with a single viewpoint, incorporating edges, value and perspective. However, considering a shadow as a drawing brings a raft of new possibilities. Unlike a traditional drawing a shadow is formed automatically, without skill, relying on the physics of light and the shape of the object. A shadow can be created or destroyed instantly, leaving no trace; it can be hugely enlarged without extra materials; and it engages with the surface that displays it, taking drawing off its paper and into new situations. A shadow is a completely accurate representation of reality but it is not an illusion of reality, nor even sometimes a recognizable image. A shadow occurs in real time, not the past, and can be controlled via its the energy source.”

Jeff Schmuki offered the following statement about his work: “My approach combines environmental, social, economic, and aesthetic concerns with a nomadic sensibility developed after Hurricane Katrina. These whimsical yet serious functional sculptures/plant growth systems re-purposed from mass-produced commercial products, which often begin as a response to a specific place, are fashioned to mutate and adapt to new situations and environments along the way. In combining living organic elements and art, nature is embellished in a highly personal way inviting the viewer to experience the natural life cycle of each work.”

“The ephemeral quality or life cycle of each work echoes the reality of our own fragility and non-permanence,” adds Schmuki. “My work also functions as an autobiographical garden recreating a lost landscape, a reinvented awareness of identity, and an expansion of possibilities. Realizing my work is directly linked to the community, I carry out projects that include members of the Charlotte area and McColl audience. My creative process speaks to the profound need for an alternative yet collaborative means of addressing the pressing social and environmental issues that are specific to the urban environment. Although the consequences of inefficient and excessive consumption are now being realized worldwide, I believe the regenerative combination of art and horticulture can foster discussions that promote a more accountable use of our limited natural resources.”

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