The Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, is exhibiting, Anima Mundi: Drawings by Rebecca Clark, from April 28 through May 28, 2012. Rebecca Clark’s art focuses on the natural world, specifically that of the insects, animals, and plant life of her backyard which she sees as a microcosm symbolizing all of nature.
Clark believes we live in an era in which we suffer from what has been described as “nature deficit disorder” and her art is a call for a return to the garden, both figuratively and literally. The drawings she makes are highly detailed, intimate portraits of the inhabitants of this garden world, composed with a snapshot sensibility. A group of drawings in the Clark exhibition depicts bees. She seeks to raise consciousness about honeybees – their grace, their mystery, and the critical role they play in our own survival.
Clark’s influences include the art of the Northern Renaissance – in particular, Netherlandish devotional panel paintings, Albrecht Dürer’s plant and animal studies, and Joris Hoefnagel’s illuminations of flora and fauna – the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic (beauty of things imperfect), and nature mysticism as expressed through various forms of art, music, poetry, and prose.
She comments, “Human beings have deep evolutionary bonds with nature, both physical and metaphysical. I hope that my quiet drawings will remind us of our place on this planet and awaken our consciousness to the larger cosmos of which we are a part – an idea described by Plato as anima mundi, soul of the world.” Clark further explains, Plato writes, ‘This world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible entity containing all other living entities which, by their nature, are all related.’”
Rebecca Clark grew up in Annapolis, MD, and received her BA in Art History from Swarthmore College in 1983. She studied painting and drawing at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and landscape design at The George Washington University. Her work has been included in group and solo exhibitions, in publications, and in private collections. She has worked for 28 years as a registrar in the Washington, DC, fine arts community, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the US Department of State’s ART in Embassies Program.
The Academy Art Museum exhibition is sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council. Admission to the Museum is $3 for non–members, children under 12 admitted free. The Museum is open Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The First Friday of each month, the Museum is open until 7 p.m. The Museum is located at 106 South St., Easton, MD, 21601. The McMartin prints are for sale at the Museum. For further information, call 410-822-ARTS (2787) or visit: www.academyartmuseum.org
Image #1: Rebecca Clark, Terrapin and Fly, Early Fall, 2011, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 30 x 22 in.
Image #2: Rebecca Clark, Tree of Life, 2012, graphite, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper, 17.75 x 22 in.
Image #3 (above): Rebecca Clark, Bee 20 (the real work), 2011, graphite on paper, 30 x 22 in.