Audubon First Friday January 6: Nature as My Art Partner

Submitted Photo Audubon Community Nature Center’s First Friday Lunch Bunch presenter on January 6 is Deb Eck, who will describe the importance of nature in her artwork.

Area residents can learn more about the connections between nature and art with Deb Eck as she uses leaves to print on paper and fabric and learns to see the world anew through the process.

At Audubon Community Nature Center’s First Friday Lunch Bunch on Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. Eck will present “Nature as My Art Studio Partner.”

For years, Eck was fascinated by the way autumn leaves left their imprint on sidewalks, so she was delighted when she discovered she could replicate that mark-making process. Her discovery launched more than a decade of experiments in using natural dyes and materials in her work. The more Eck explores the variety of colors and marks, the more time she spends looking in hedgerows and collecting leaves on slow walks around her neighborhood. Over time she has developed whole new ways of seeing the natural world, and her work has become more in tune with the seasons outside her studio. Eck will share some of these discoveries and musings on the symbiosis between artist and nature.

The British artist lives and works in the United States. She holds a BFA in painting from the University at Buffalo and an MA in Visual Culture from Northumbria University in Newcastle in the UK.

Using thread, paper, and text, Eck’s studio practice focuses on the lives and work of women. Her work finds expression in repetition, with most of her it requiring tens, even hundreds, of hours of intensive hand labor to create. The meditative nature of this slow unfolding of the work allows for ideas to fully manifest, for the threads of thought to untangle and re-weave themselves into new forms. Eck is interested in all manner of traditional forms of work like mending, embroidery, and dyeing. She feels that exploring these techniques in contemporary art connects her to the lineage of women at work through history.

After many years of academic teaching at Jamestown Community College and the State University at Fredonia, Eck recently became the program director of the new Pearl City Clay House at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts. When she is not in her studio or teaching in the community, she can be found wandering around the trails and neighborhoods looking for materials to incorporate into her work.

Bring a lunch to visit with the speaker and other attendees afterward. The fee is $6 for Nature Center members and children ages 9 to 15, $8 for non-members. Reservations are appreciated and can be made by calling 716-569-2345 or through “Programs and Events” at AudubonCNC.org. Walk-ins are welcome.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. Visit the nearly 600-acre nature preserve, check in on the live birds of prey, and hike, snowshoe or cross country ski over five miles of trails dawn until dusk daily for free. The three-story Nature Center building houses interactive displays, a collection of live animals including the Hellbender exhibit, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Visitors are welcome Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Nature Center members and SNAP/EBT cardholders have free building admission daily. Building admission is also free every Sunday for non-Nature Center members.


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