‘Infinite possibility’: ARC Gallery displays nests in various forms

Photo by Malia Barto.

The subject of “nests” can mean many things. It can symbolize a home, a place of growth and even femininity. The ARC Gallery is displaying 11 pieces in their new gallery, experimenting with that particular idea.

Carol Lambert's "Nest Makings" is made of twigs, grass, linen, moss, wool and lichen. Photo by Malia Barto.
Carol Lambert’s “Nest Makings” is made of twigs, grass, linen, moss, wool and lichen. Photo by Malia Barto.

The gallery is titled “Woven Homes.” The contributing artists consist of four, female, Alaska-based artists who are exploring nests through their own perspectives.

One of the artists, Sara Tabbert, has two pieces in the gallery from two very different points in her life. One of the pieces called “Dervish” is wood-engraved and full of detail.

Sara Tabbert's "Dervish." Photo by Malia Barto.
Sara Tabbert’s “Dervish.” Photo by Malia Barto.

“[Dervish] was made in a long residency in a small town in Montana, at a time when I had recently finished graduate school and was bouncing around between Alaska, Montana and the Midwest. Things felt very exciting and unsettled, and I think the image has references to home, movement and difficulty,” Tabbert said.

Tabbert is trained in printmaking and often works in woodcut. Her second piece in the gallery, “Nest,” is a print of a nest as the title implies. While it is simpler than her other piece, it is still full of patterns and details.

For Melanie Lombard’s pieces in the gallery, inspiration came after a windstorm several years ago.

“[A nest] had fallen on the ground and it was so amazing and just so beautifully crafted I just wanted to look at it for a long time,” Lombard said. “So I made a drawing of it and I just couldn’t stop drawing it, it was all I wanted to draw… I would think about how the nest is almost like an external womb or like, a piece of infinite possibility. I wanted to express those more abstract ideas and so my work [became] more abstract.”

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Her medium for the gallery is an experimental watercolor with salt and graphite. Her work gives a pop of vibrant color to the exhibit with the blue, purple and pink hues.

The gallery is curated by UAA fine arts student Matilda Jacobson, who is currently in a curatorial internship through the Kimura Gallery. She was researching Alaska artists when she started noticing the recurring theme of nests through many artists’ work.

“This coincidence happened far too often for me to ignore, and I decided that it had to be worth looking into,” Jacobson said. “Even after assembling the artists and the work, nearly every day I seem to encounter more artwork surrounding the nest, either from other art students here at UAA or from additional local artists.”

Jacobson is featuring Lombard, Tabbert, Carol Lambert and Holly Nordlum in the gallery. She hopes the exhibit has viewers enjoying the different renditions of nests and realizing their own personal association with them.

The exhibit opened March 27 and will stay on display at the ARC Gallery, located between the Kaladi Brother’s Cafe in the Social Sciences Building and the UAA/APU Consortium Library,  until May 7. There is an opening reception for the gallery on Friday, April 12, from 4 – 7 p.m.