New England Currents : Elizabeth Awalt

Sanctuary of Light

February 7, 2007 — March 18, 2007

Opening Reception Saturday, February 10, 5 - 7 p.m.
Lunchtime Gallery Talk Wednesday, February 7, noon
Gallery Talk with Alfonso Alonso, Ph.D, Conservation Biologist, Smithsonian Institution
Sunday, March 4, 3:00 p.m.

Press Release Elizabeth Awalt at the Danforth Museum of Art

Excerpts from the catalog essay, Sanctuary of Light, by Katherine French:

“When Liz Awalt celebrated her fiftieth birthday with a trip to a butterfly sanctuary in Mexico, she was deliberately seeking to understand a natural phenomenon. High in the Michoacan mountains north of Mexico City, she found a landscape in flux, alive with Monarchs that had migrated thousands of miles to winter in the rare Oyamel fir trees that grow in volcanic soil. Like salmon swimming upstream, the Monarchs had returned to a specific place. But unlike salmon, or any other animal in the world, their journey had taken multiple generations to complete. The original butterflies never come back, but their great-grandchildren must return, genetically committed to their ancestral refuge.”

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“As an artist, Awalt is a visionary, whose work reveals a world gone slightly awry. Much in the tradition of Marsden Hartley and Emily Carr, her early paintings are darkly sensual, filled with a natural disorder. But after the birth of children, Awalt’s expressive landscapes became increasingly claustrophobic, trapping the viewer “smack up against a tree trunk.” Recent work, however, can be seen as a metaphor for creative release.”

Elizabeth Awalt, Hover, oil on canvas, 2006
Elizabeth Awalt, Hover, 72 in. x 60 in., oil on canvas, 2006

New England Currents Series is supported by the Artist’s Resource Trust, the NAN Award and Swartz Hardware & Supply, Inc.

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