Exhibit Evening & Artist Talk: Migration by Gretchen Scharnagl
Wednesday, September 18 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Deering Estate presents Migration, an exhibition of works by artist Gretchen Scharnagl.
The exhibit evening will be held on Wednesday, September 18th from 6 to 9 pm, and include an artist talk at 7pm with Gretchen Scharnagl in conversation with Deering Estate Naturalist Rangel Diaz in the Grand Hall. Free with RSVP at Eventbrite.com.
Migration is a new series of large scale mixed media works produced during the last year as a result of an in depth review of the Deering Estate’s natural areas and bird species. The series includes the works, Fall, Spring and Nesting that reflect on the migratory patterns of birds through the Deering Estate site during the titular seasons. Scharnagl’s artistic process is a combination of sustained scientific inquiry into environmental issues and her adroit precision of form and composition. The works in this exhibition serve as both diagrams and reminders of the sizable significance that environmental habitats have on a species. In many ways, Scharnagl continues the tradition of representing animals as teachers of moral lessons that has been well utilized since the earliest traditions of art making.
Migration also represents her interest in material exploration and include elements of drawing and collage. To create these works, Scharnagl used found images of birds and maps from vintage maps and ornithological guide books strategically placed by location on to drawings of the tip of Florida. The paper she used is sustainably sourced hand-made Lotka paper from Nepal. The works evoke the splendor and luminescence of the tradition of cartography and the practice of detailed biological animal illustrations made popular during the Renaissance.
Central to Scharnagl’s artistic practice is her social and environmental practice. Her works often address issues of climate change, rising sea levels and species extinction. Scharnagl’s new suite of collages emerge from her investigation of the Deering Estate as part of an important and active migratory corridor in South Florida. The Deering Estate is part of the Biscayne Bay IBA (Important Bird Area), and the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Working with Deering Estate Naturalist Rangel Diaz, Scharnagl identified over 100 species of birds that migrate through the area during the spring, fall and nesting seasons. Following the legacy of Charles Deering’s own interest in bird watching and the preservation of important ecological bird habitats and sanctuaries, the Deering Estate provides various learning programs that allow guests to learn more about the significance of the site for the support of birds and other plant and wildlife.