Christine Ryback Exhibit, “Nature’s Own- Set in Stone” at Jerome Co-op Jan 7th
The opening night festivities at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery on Jan 7th First Saturday Art Walk will ring in the new year with an exhibition by artist-member Christine Ryback, “Nature’s Own-Set in Stone.” Her show will run through the end of February. Also featured at the Art Walk in January will be live music by the Bill Kamper Ensemble.
The artist’s inspiration springs from a deep love and life-long appreciation of nature: “I have always felt at home with the natural world- it is my refuge and where I find my spirituality. A walk in the woods can be the best diversion from negativity and bring peace of mind,” she reminds us.
Christine was an art major at Montclair State University in her home state of New Jersey and has been reproducing nature’s bounty in the form of cast concrete leaves since her days as a stay-at-home mom when she was able to ‘dabble‘ in a variety of creative projects. Surrounded by the lush forests of the east coast, she began to collect leaves of all kinds- carefully chosen and gathered from the forests and fields in her native state to Florida’s tropics. From the first rhubarb leaves, her beautiful cast concrete finished pieces now include a large variety from her leaf collection, including maple, cabbage, elephant ear and many more. Although she and her husband relocated to Prescott Valley, Arizona in 2012, she has retained her home state/east coast leaf source thanks to her daughter’s connections to an organic farm where she resides back home in New Jersey. At her own southwest home, the “avid gardener” also grows her own plants.
Christine has perfected the process of observing, studying and casting each chosen leaf in concrete. “The piece is then cured, painted and sealed,” she says of her process which is on display at the gallery in the form of colorful wall art as well as functional items (birdbaths, table decor and more). “Each leaf is unique, as nature provides the artistry.”
In the exhibition, she will be showcasing newer pieces as well- ‘3D ‘mulleins’ (four separate layers combined into a single flower) as well as new pieces which appear more sculptured from her series, “The Woods,” in which she uses bark and other natural materials from the forest.
In addition, Christine, who was taught by her live-in Hungarian grandmother to sew at a very young age, made her own high school wardrobe and later worked for decorators, now has developed a line of fabric and leather handbags based on her nature designs which will also be displayed at the show. “My sewing machine never gets put away!”
In a totally different ‘vein,’ Christine is delighted to debut an entirely new medium, gicléé prints on canvas of her original oil paintings. “I am excited to present these because I have not painted with oils since high school… a very long time ago.”
Please join Christine and the Jerome Co-op Artists at First Saturday Art Walk, 5-8 pm on January 7th at the Hotel Jerome, 502 Main Street, Jerome Az 86331. Daily Hours: 10- 6pm
For info: call 928-639-4276 www.jeromecoop.com