California artist Robert Buelteman presents his new exhibition, “every thing shines,” through Sept. 3 at Shari Brownfield Fine Art at 50 S. Glenwood St.
“Images of delicately carved plant life combined with 80,000 volts of electricity and a light source the diameter of a human hair surprise viewers and transform everyday matter into artworks that celebrate nature’s mysteries,” the contemporary gallery said of Buelteman’s camera-less photography. The work appears to “glow from the walls, taking the viewer outside the ordinary and inside the energy of our natural world.”
Buelteman grew up in Woodside, California, where he developed a deep love of nature that inspired him to render the landscape in traditional analog black-and-white to much acclaim. After a revelation in 1999 he began to dream in color, and he knew that the time had come to do something new with his craft.
“I met the artist 20 years ago,” Brownfield said in press material, “at a time when he had just shifted from a very successful career in traditional black-and-white landscape photography. The enthusiasm he had for his art and process was overwhelming, and I gave him one of his first shows of this now widely exhibited body of work.”
That new work was the culmination of a year of experimentation that included thousands of sheets of photographic film and several electrical shocks. Ultimately, he developed a method that represent an evolutionary step in photography that uses neither camera, lens not computer. His process is “unpredictable and often unmanageable,” Brownfield wrote, “yet he finds comfort in surrendering to fate and serendipity.
“Process-based art is typically visible,” Brownfield said, “yet his process is invisible to the viewer. It becomes a mystery, where we question what it is we are seeing, and how this came to be.”
Brownfield will host a reception for Buelteman and “every thing shines” 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Shari Brownfield Fine Art is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and by appointment. Visit ShariBrownfield.com or call 413-9262 for information.
Pillow party at WRJ
WRJ Design hosts its first summer showroom open house of the season with the “Pillows & Palomas Pop-Up Shop” 1-7 p.m. today.
The event will feature Bozeman, Montana, designer Jade Miller’s Vantage Design luxury pillows, which are crafted using upcycled designer and vintage fabrics. While shopping and chatting with Miller, guests can sip white wine, Paloma sloshie cocktails and eat food provided by Jackson local Jessa Talermo.
Miller, who launched her pillow line in 2020, uses a process that produces little to zero waste, That has saved more than 2,000 yards of fabric from going into landfills, she says.
Polar bear brings award
Last month, the National Museum of Wildlife Art named Shawn Harris the 2021 recipient of the Bull-Bransom Award for his cut-paper illustration in “A Polar Bear in the Snow,” written by Mac Barnett.
In the book, readers follow a polar bear through a world of snow and a shockingly blue sea. Readers connect with the bear as a wild animal in its natural environment and wonder about where he is going and what he wants.
“I created dioramas out of white paper that I lit and photographed,” Harris said of creating the illustrations. “I wanted to see if I could use uncolored paper, lighting, light and shadow to create an Arctic universe.”
The book’s unique white-on-white cut paper collages are defined by the contrast of shadow and light, a perfect complement to the compelling minimal writing style distilled to essential words and phrases, museum press material states.
Harris started illustrating album art for bands he met while touring the world as a musician. His first picture book, “Her Right Foot” by Dave Eggers, was the recipient of seven starred reviews. His other books for kids include “What Can a Citizen Do?” by Eggers, “Everyone’s Awake” by Colin Meloy and, most recently, his authorial debut, “Have You Ever Seen a Flower?”
The Bull-Bransom Award is given annually to recognize excellence in the field of children’s book illustration with a focus on nature and wildlife. It is named after Charles Livingston Bull and Paul Bransom, who were among the first and finest American artist-illustrators to specialize in wildlife subjects. Both had a big impact on younger artists and both illustrated numerous children’s books. Museum Trustee Emerita Lynn Friess started the award in 2010.
The museum will announce upcoming events and a visit by Harris to local schools in the spring or 2022.