Botanical Voices

Saturday, August 14 at 2 p.m. join mixed media artist Helen Wilson to learn about the artistic process behind her landscape collages and how she gains inspiration from local flora at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to create works in her solo exhibition, “Botanical Voices.”

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TRANSITION GALLERY

In Helen Wilson’s Botanical Voices, mixed media come together in highly textured collage landscapes inspired by local flora. Wilson is influenced by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is near her current home. She also references the avocado trees in her grandmother’s Southern California garden. This exhibition gives a voice to the botanical world as the artist believes that plants and trees have much to teach us. 


Artist Statement 

My love of all things Botanical began at a young age, as I grew up in Southern California, playing daily in my Grandmother’s lush garden. My art career began as a middle school student doodling on cereal boxes, gum wrappers and phone books. This was a habit that adults did not always appreciate. At the age of 16 I was introduced to the wonder of a Rapidograph technical pen. As a teenager in Southern California in the turbulent 60’s, I spent hours drawing and found art to be a means of communication. Entering into adulthood, the world of work and family life, I set my artistic interests aside. 

Jump ahead several decades and in the 90’s, my family and I moved to the edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From a young age, I had been schooled in an appreciation of beauty and suddenly I found myself surrounded by it on a daily basis. My childhood fascination with the natural world was rekindled and I found myself needing to give voice to the botanical world around me .I discovered a fascination for the relationship between “outer and inner”. The dormancy of winter plants, the buzzing of the pollinators, the hidden work of chlorophyll, the rhythm of the seasons, the mystery of seeds and the amazing world of grasses became some of my themes. The infinite layers found in nature are a common thread throughout my mixed media process. Also, I have come to consider that the botanical world has a message for us. There is more to life than meets the eye! 

Over several years, I tried many different artistic approaches and finally discovered my voice in the mixed media collage process. I actually devised my own process of 3-D paper collage  since I couldn’t find any technique which seemed to adequately tell my story. I use acrylic paints and mediums, inks,mono-printing and the metal gilding process in my work. I also include asemic writing, letters and numbers in many of my works as a means of giving voice to the botanical world.  I am always trying new techniques and I enjoy experimenting. I have studied the simple tasks of cutting, gluing and folding in order to create layers, grasses, pathways and passages. I have been surprised to discover new ways to cut and fold my papers in order to better replicate grasses and other elements of the natural world. I often use asemic writing and handwriting to add dimension to my work. My process speaks of the mystery of the botanical world, it’s amazing construction and the hidden message to be found in every botanical element. As I work, I find myself on a journey. I am traveling through color, texture, emotion and thought. My hope is that my detail, structure and unique use of color will entice the viewer to take a moment to stop, to look, to be intrigued and hear the voices of the Botanical world. 

If you are interested in purchasing any artwork from this exhibition please contact Natalie Grieshammer at natalie@summitartspace.org. 

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1

Saga of the Blue Lily 
Mixed media, acrylics
$400.00 

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2

Study of Chlorophyll-Distracted
Mixed Media, acrylics
$350.00 

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3

Grassland Narrative- The Golden Days
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf,
$550.00 

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4

Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice II
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$1000.00 

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5

Grassland Diaries- Autumn Glory
Mixed media, acrylics, watercolor, aluminum leaf
$450.00 

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6

Grassland Diaries- On the Edge of Autumn
Mixed media, acrylics
$450.00 

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7

Grassland Diaries- Autumn Glory II
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf 
$450.00  

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8

On the Chlorophyll Trail
Mixed media, acrylics
$400.00 

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9

Grassland Narrative-Summer Rhapsody
Mixed media, acrylics
$600.00 

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10

Grassland Narrative- Summer Rhapsody II
Mixed media, acrylics
$550.00 

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11

Saga of a Seed
Mixed media, acrylics, metal gilding
$400.00 

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12

Alter Ego of a Dahlia
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf  
$900.00 

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13

Growing by the Waters
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$400.00 

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14

In a Gardener’s Dreams II 
Mixed media, acrylics, copper leaf
$600.00 

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15

Alter Ego of a Daisy
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$900.00 

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16

Semi Autobiographical Chrysanthemum  II 
Mixed Media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$900.00 

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17

In a Gardener’s Dreams
Mixed Media, acrylics, silver leaf
$900.00 

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18

Growing in My Cosmic Garden
Mixed Media, acrylics, silver leaf
$900.00 

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19

The Rabbit Hole Diaries
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$1000.00 

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20

Grassland Diaries- Second Spring
Mixed media, acrylics, silver leaf
$450.00 

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21

Grassland Diaries- First Spring
Mixed Media, acrylics, silver leaf
$450.00 

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22

Grassland Diaries- Early Spring II
Mixed media, acrylics
$450.00 

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23

Grassland Diaries- Spring Rains
Mixed media, acrylics, silver leaf
$450.00 

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24

Semi-Autobiographical Artichoke
Paper sculpture, mixed media, acrylics, silver leaf
$300.00 

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25

Tending My inner Garden in the Western Reserve III
Paper sculpture, Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$200.00 

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 26

My Watershed Moment- Illustrated
Paper sculpture, mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf 
$300.00 

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27

Grassland Diaries- Long Winter Months
Mixed media, acrylics
$450.00 

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28

Grassland Diaries- Winter Rains
Mixed media, acrylics
$450.00 

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29

Grassland Diaries – First Light
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf 
$500.00 

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30

Grassland Diaries – First Light II 
Mixed media, acrylics
$450.00 

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31

Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice 
Mixed media, copper leaf, acrylics
$1000.00 

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32

Growing in my Cosmic Garden II
Mixed media, acrylics, silver leaf
$900.00 

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33

The Rabbit Hole Diaries II
Mixed media, acrylics, aluminum leaf
$1000.00 

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See the Summit Artspace exhibit schedule for show details.
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