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Art With An Environmental Impact

February 2, 2016


Los Angeles-based artist Cynthia Minet deploys post-consumer plastics to build illuminated sculptures of animals. Minet’s drawings and pieces have been shown individually and as large-scale installations including the recent Gyre: The Plastic Ocean which featured her dog sled and where Minet also had a solo show that exhibited avians and elephants. Minet’s pack dogs installation is part of an amazing group show of 20+ artists from around the world whose work addresses the problems of plastic pollution in the oceans and on land.



Gyre: The Plastic Ocean originated at the Anchorage Museum in Feb 2014; it’s final stop is at Natalie and James Thompson Gallery at SJSU 1 Washington Sq, San Jose, California 95192 and it opens tonight Tuesday Feb 2, 6-7:30 with an illustrated lecture and panel discussion with artists, including Cynthia Minet, and the curator of the Anchorage Museum, Julie Decker, from 5-6 pm.


Julie Decker’s catalogue for the show Gyre: The Plastic Ocean reaches far beyond the typical; in fact I am using the catalogue as a text book in my spring classes and we are going to see Avian on a field trip on Thursday, Feb. 4, the day before it opens.


Minet’s works reveal her interest in ecological and scientific issues, and capture audiences through their colorful, visual allure and conceptual, political bite.


Minet’s solo exhibition, Avian, up now at Ventura’s Vita Art Center and opening Friday, February 5, 2016 from 6-9 p.m. features works that primarily portray birds of prey.

Minet’s research into contemporary falconry ties the sculptures to her series of “Unsustainable Creatures” and “Beasts of Burden” sculptures and drawings that focus on domesticated animals. These “working animals” function as surrogates for human experience. Building the birds out of recycled water and detergent bottles, Minet’s works also speak to our reliance on those materials and the seemingly insurmountable problems of plastic pollution in the food chain and in the water supply.

 Minet’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in the USA, including USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Anchorage Museum, Alaska; CDC Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; UC Riverside’s ARTSblock/Culver Center for the Arts, California; and the Los Angeles International Airport. International group shows include the Limbus Gallery, Tel Aviv; The New Gallery, Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem; and Scala Mata, Venice, Italy. Reviews and images can be found at:

Gyre: The Plastic Ocean
Natalie and James Thompson Gallery at SJSU
1 Washington Sq, San Jose, California 95192
Exhibition: Feb 2-March 25, 2016
Gallery Hours: M-F, 10-4 pm, and Tuesday evenings, 6-7:30 pm
Information: Mary Tataro, Gallery Director (408) 924-4328.

432 N. Ventura Ave, Ventura CA 93001
Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 2016 from 6-9 p.m.
Exhibit Dates: February 5 – 28, 2016
Gallery hours: M-F 10-4 pm Sat. & Sun. by appointment

Kelly Berg, Strato, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles.

Kelly Berg, Strato, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles.

On a similar theme, Environmental Impact: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard showcases how our environment is strongly impacted by the Earth’s relentlessly evolving weather conditions and anthropogenic stimuli.


Open until February 21, 2016 and curated by Billie Milam Weisman, Director of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, and generously funded by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, this exhibit shows how artists have reproduced, commented and critiqued our ever-changing environment, whether the result of nature’s forces or human interventions.

On Saturday, February 13, you can also enjoy the poetry of

as part of the monthly Arcade Poetry Series. Both poets bring a strong sense of place and a concern for the environment to their poetry.

Suzanne Lummis is the director of The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, Literary curator for Lummis Day: The Festival of Northeast Los Angeles, co-editor with Henry Morro of The Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books, and the editor of its first publication Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angele and Beyond, named one of the 10 Best Books of 2015 in The Los Angeles Times. Her poetry has appeared in numerous national literary magazines, including Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, The New Ohio Review, The Antioch Review and The New Yorker. Her most recent collection, Open 24 Hours, received the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize and was published by Lynx House Press. She was the recipient of Beyond Baroque’s 2015 George Drury Smith Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award.  Lummis teaches poetry through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Examples of her work are in this blog post.

Glenna Luschei is an avocado rancher in the Carpinteria Valley.  As a PhD in Hispanic Languages from UCSB, she has also served as a interpreter for migrant workers. She has published her Solo Press books and magazines for fifty years.  As a young poet she was chosen by Galway Kinnell as winner of an emerging poets ntest to read at the Westside Y in NYC.   As an older poet she received an National Endowments of the Arts  Fellowship and was inducted as Poet Laureate of San Luis Obispo for the year 2000. Her latest book is Zen Duende by Presa Press, 2015.  She is the subject of a movie, Between Two Rivers, produced by Ventura County Poet Laureate Phil Taggart and Marsha de la O; it will debut Saturday, February 6 at 2:30 p.m. at the EP Foster Library, 651 East Main Street, Ventura.

Poetry Readings begin at 7 pm
CAM Members Free and $ 3 non-members
Thurs – Sat
10 am – 5 pm
Sun – 1 pm – 5 pm
closed holidays
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