Nature has always been a great inspiration for artists. This of course includes birds. The interpretation of the bird has varied across the world and through different artist’s eyes.
If you love animals, you will enjoy stopping into these two galleries to see what artists Lou Adams from The Ascending Spirit Gallery and Jennifer O’Cualain of Mountain Trails Gallery, have been up to.
At The Ascending Spirit Gallery within Sedona, Arizona's Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, Lou Adams practices the ancient tradition of hand folding Japanese papers into cranes. These cranes, a representation of peace, long life and good fortune, can be viewed throughout the gallery. Adams folds over 1000 cranes every year with an offering of a wish to be granted. For her, the folding of the cranes is an act of praying for peace in troubled times.
Lou Adams states, "When I first learned to fold a peace crane, I became obsessed and couldn't stop folding. I thought I could fold enough to prevent war. After the war began, I realized folding was a way of holding peace in the moment. I began praying. I have been folding for 9 years. As time passes, it becomes more important to hold a space for peace."
The cranes represented in The Ascending Spirit Gallery are made of gorgeous bark from the Mulberry tree. The papers are then silk-screened in Japan with beautiful colors, including gold and silver highlights. In addition to the paper birds, elements of: gold, silver, glass beads, bone and semi-precious stones are also worked into the art.
While in Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, also visit Mountain Trails Gallery, to see the work of Jennifer O’Cualain. O’Cualain’s influence from wildlife ranges from birds to bison. Her portraits of animals display each animal’s natural characteristics in the wild.
O’Cualain shares that each creature has its own personality and she looks to develop scenes that exemplify these human emotions.
Jennifer states, “I am also a bit of an anthropomorphist. The feel of fur under your hand is a relatively universal goal, but I want my viewer to get a sense of the individual animal. Traveling has allowed me to get close to animals in the wild in a way like I’d never expected. Last year I stood 10 feet away from a mature Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep while visiting Glacier National Monument. He stood only briefly while I stared in awe. I could see deep into his big dark eyes. This majestic wild animal had no fear of me, in fact, I almost felt as if he were as curious about me as I was about him. I feel an absolutely real sense that there is much more communication between humans and animals than anyone really considers.”
Mountain Trails Gallery is located at 336 AZ-179, Suite A201, in Sedona, Arizona.
Sedona Gallery Association