Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SEDONA, Ariz. - Feb 19, 2018 - James Ratliff Gallery’s “Birds, Flowers and Butterflies” opens Friday, March 2, from 5-8 PM, at James Ratliff Gallery, Hillside Sedona, 671 State Route 179, Suites A1 & A2, Sedona, AZ 86336. This exhibition, featuring the work of David K. John, Greg Heil and Cary Henrie will continue through March 18.
David K. John’s paintings reveal the story of the Navajo people. John is committed to storytelling, i.e., telling the story of Navajo culture. “This tradition can only be experienced,” says John, “by listening to stories, songs, prayers and experiencing the ceremonies of the traditional people.” John says. “A basic cycle of Navajo legends centers on the twin warriors. The culture’s ceremonies and dances recount the fatherless twins’ quest to find their father, Sun, through many tests, challenges and journeys toward self discovery. The artist continues, “Certain things I cannot paint or don’t talk about from our more sacred rites.”
Raised by his great grandfather, great grandmother and single mother, David K. John grew up hearing the stories and teachings of his homeland. John’s great grandfather was a medicine man so from childhood, John participated in seasonal rituals, healing ceremonies (sand paintings) and sacred events. In his art, John expresses his own interpretations of his childhood. David K. John reveals the cultural motif of his Navajo heritage to evoke a sense of wonder, serenity and timelessness within the viewer.
The Greg Heil story offers a glimmer into the life and development of the contemporary artist, more specifically, the a maturation particularly experienced by living, studying and preferring to be cultivated, shaped, and creating in the American Southwest.
Heil is an artist who not only looks and listens but also sees. Greg Heil paints landscapes in his signature plein-air style. Heil is part of a new tradition in American painting whose work bridges the gaps between abstraction, expressionism and traditional plein-air painting. Heil’s subject matter arises from his Southwest home which provides him with an abundance of motifs so that, in his words, “nature overpowers the human mind with an infinite variety of forms and colors”. Heil’s pwwtu magic draws the viewer in through realism infused with an element of fantasy.
Cary Henrie paints landscapes which often have a wonderful sort of old world charm. Many also have a unique frame painted on the canvas itself which adds to the feeling of peering through a window or aged wall in a European village. These landscapes are elegant, timeless and Universal is feeling.
Of interest to the viewer is Henrie’s introduction of authentically-harvested butterflies from South America and Southeast Asia then mounted on birch wood sculptures. Henre’s iconic imagery has now become infused with the ephemeral butterfly, symbolizing metamorphosis, transformation and perpetuity. Henrie’s art provides eco-awareness and education, sustainability for the rainforest and its butterfly population as well as income for the rainforest gathering peoples. Henrie states: “Nature brings peace to one’s soul. In “Arcs and Organics”, I bring nature right into the collector’s home!” Exotic and symbolic of rebirth and change, these exquisitely colorful butterflies are fun. They easily complement the core of my iconic images and symbols.” Henrie now invites the viewer to pass through another portal, one that promises a Henrie experience of calm and serenity.
With a wingspan of almost eight inches, cobalt-blue Morpho butterflies are some of the largest in the world. Morphos currently face habitat destruction and extinction. The Amazon Conservation Association is working with the indigenous Queros Wachiperi community to protect Morphos through sustainable harvesting and create a market for ecotourism in southeastern Peru where these butterflies reach their peak of diversity. . . 8 species sited where the piedmont and lowland species meet. The result: one of the richest Morpho communities in existence is found along this narrow strip of land situated between the lowlands and the highlands. This project will provide a sustainable source of income for the Queros Wachiperi community, provide an opportunity for the public to experience this immense species richness, guaranteeing long-term preservation of these rare, threatened butterflies.
From the rainforest to the gallery, Henrie’s works are amazing to view from both sides as the sculptures allow the insects to have the beautiful effect of “hovering” in flight in Sedona, Arizona! Other insects and plant life are included in the wood-cored sculptures along with writings, symbols, maps, compasses for which Henrie is known.
Ratliff views the potential of “Birds, Flowers and Butterflies” in landscape art works to enhance, widen, alter, or bring what’s outside inside, thereby creating a personalized interior space for home or office. The result? The space comes alive through landscapes that brighten, add interest, provoke thought, engage memories, and become yours! That wall whose window reveals a look at the neighbor’s wall or an unusable niche are some opportunities to personalize the interior of home or office by hanging a landscape painting over it! Change your space at will with the landscape of your choice!
For further information about “Birds, Flowers and Butterflies” or the James Ratliff Gallery: phone: 928-282-1404 (tel:(928)%20282-1404)
James Ratliff Gallery