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The Flowers Are Burning: Incandescent Watercolors

"Silent Spring" 22x30 Collaborative Watercolor by Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann

"Silent Spring" 22x30

Collaborative Watercolor by Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann

I'm very excited to announce I am in the final throes of finishing work for an upcoming exhibition at the Overture Center for the Arts. This will be a collaborative exhibition with my friend and colleague, Helen Klebesadel. We have collaborated together for nearly 2 years in preparation for this show, and have discovered a unique new way of working. We have co-painted on several paintings, exchanging the works back and forth and advising each other along the way as we bring our shared vision to fruition. It has brought us both a great deal of joy to work in this way together and given us the opportunity to discuss in depth the underlying themes that run through our work. We both have individual paintings along with the shared pieces.  Whether overtly referencing encroaching storms, drought and fire, sea star wasting syndrome or merely hinting at them, they reflect our concerns about how climate changes are affecting the very subjects we paint.

"We are using the flower as metaphor, both evoking a sense of alarm at our need to address urgent environmental concerns and holding up the vision of possibility of rising from the ashes of restorative prairie burn. We invite our audience to engage with us in seeing both the danger and optimism. The synergy that was created in our shared art making is also a metaphor for the cooperation and creative collaboration we will all need as a community to make real and productive change for our shared future. We offer the energy of flowers that burn with power AND beauty."  -Helen Klebesadel and Mary Kay Neumann, from our Artist Statement

We are in the process of developing a website that will contain more detailed information about our vision for change, as we move this project forward, engaging in the kind of art activism that we love. Stay tuned!