Artist Kim Anno examines the science, history and literature of the past in order to find clues to where we as a species took a wrong turn into the climate predicament of the present. One aspect she explores is the insect world, as insects are particularly sensitive to climate change and face challenges on an immense scale. For her show at PMA, Anno exhibits a butterfly collection, giving them agency to move or fly off her illustrated page. And since the Bay Area is home to a tapestry of butterfly species, her work incorporates the Mission Blue and the Checkered Skipper butterflies, among others.
In The Arrangement, a tiny woman in the left quarter of the painting arranges a picnic, while also rearranging the environment around her. This ability to arrange nature is not without its consequences, and this painting invites viewers to think about the larger expectations of viewing nature ‘at our service.’
Kim Anno is a painter, photographer, and film/video artist whose work has been collected and exhibited by museums nationally and abroad. Her recent interests and expertise has been in the intersection of art and science, particularly in aesthetic issues surrounding climate change, water,and adaptation. Anno’s work is in the collections of SFMOMA, Berkeley Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Fine Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Crocker Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, Columbia University Library, University of Texas, Austin, Getty Research Institute and Goethe Institute, among others.
Butterflies by Kim Anno
The wall assemblages in this exhibition are part of a series entitled ‘Earth Saints,’ dedicated to those who have made enormous sacrifices for environmental causes. Many were dedicated to the point of risking their lives for the sake and welfare of our environment. These include Dorothy Stang, Julia Butterfly Hill and Rachel Carson. Dorothy Stang was a nun who was shot dead protecting the Amazon Basin. Julia Butterfly Hill sat at the top of a redwood tree for over 500 days to keep it from being logged. Jane Goodall has dedicated her life to creating an awareness of how important jungle creatures are.
Kerpel’s work reflects his concern for climate hot spots around the world, including the endless destruction in the Amazon. Yet he finds hope in the memory of Dot, as Dorothy Stang was called by her family, friends and locals in Brazil, who was often pictured wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, "A Morte da floresta é o fim da nossa vida" which is Portuguese for "The Death of the Forest is the End of Our Lives.” She said, “I don't want to flee, nor do I want to abandon the battle of these farmers who live without any protection in the forest. They have the sacrosanct right to aspire to a better life on land where they can live and work with dignity while respecting the environment. “
Jon Kerpel began his art career in New York City where he studied at the School of Visual Arts and developed a formal figurative style. After attending a workshop at Arcosanti, an experimental city combining architecture with ecology in the Arizona desert, he began to create paintings incorporating shaped panels and geometric patterns as well as became interested in environmental issues. Following a move to the Bay Area, he then experimented with printmaking, ceramics and crafts before focusing on sculpture and assemblage. He also began to incorporate readily available found objects into artwork that was about animals and their integral relationship to the environment. In order to affirm the importance of the natural world, Jon’s sculptures take the form of temples and shrines. He often combines jewels and shiny objects with animal imagery in order to make the creature world more visible and attract more positive attention to it. Some artworks are reactions to world events or tributes to environmental pioneers. Jon has exhibited primarily in the Bay Area, including shows at the Triton Museum and Gallery 555 (an off-site exhibition space sponsored by the Oakland Museum). He also received a public interest grant from the Puffin Foundation for his “The Good Earth Project”.
Earth Saint by Jon Kerpel
Doyle Wegner considers himself a storyteller. His images blend the everyday world with the realm of dreams, imagination, myth and fairy tale. As a graphic artist/illustrator for the East Bay Regional Park District he has also worked in a realistic manner in the rendering of plants and animals.
In his piece Katrina Blues, Wegner pays homage to blues guitarist Tommy Johnson in the imagined aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In Rescued, a man is pulled through the sky by a thin, barely-visible string, defying the laws of physics. As the man rises upward, the things preoccupying his daily modern American life fall to Earth, and he is finally free.
Doyle Wegner has lived in the Bay Area for over 50 years and in Japan for 10 years, studying woodblock printing and Japanese brush-painting. He attended Chabot College and The California College of Art where he received a BFA in Fine art. He continues to study and explore.
Rescued by Doyle Wegner
Website by Werner Glinka