Ariana Sturr

"Nurturing Nature"Open Mind Art Space Online Exhibition. Artsy. 2018

"Nurturing Nature", will be Sturr’s second exhibition at Open Mind Art Space and will feature two-dimensional pieces using photography, painting, fiber, and clay, that capture the playful nature and imagination of children. It is a collection of recent works from Sturr’s new series taking inspiration from her experience as an art teacher for students with learning disabilities.

Sturr’s new body of work explores the educational methods that encourage and nurture the growth of her students. Often these methods of instruction revolve around the senses of touch, sound, and sight, which Sturr incorporates into each of her new works. The paintings in this series involve participation by her students, who describe to her as she paints, words they learn in class, and then by using word association they influence the colors and shapes in each painting. Her mixed media pieces that consist of small clay tiles, each organically pressed by hand and arranged onto canvases, are inspired by the learning exercises she uses in the classroom for improving the children’s organization skills. The series also includes a large cyanotype that captures the freedom and contentment of the children at play outside on the playground. As a whole, "Nurturing Nature" is a visual representation of the lenses through which children with disabilities experience the world.

Sturr says, “I like to think about my students as if they were famous works of art. Some days they appear as Matisse paper cutouts; colorful, enthusiastic, bubbling with overlapping ideas and thoughts, almost like a moving puzzle, while on other days they seem like Ellsworth Kelly paintings; bright, loud, and simple, and sometimes they may resemble an Alexander Calder mobile; floating, moving with the wind and energy around them. Rather than trying to change or alter these ‘works of art’, my teaching focuses on nurturing and supporting them. My new work in Nurturing Nature represents my time spent working with these unique children.”

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