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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    TMA features new beautiful exhibits inspired by the elements

    In conjunction with the new year, the Tucson Museum of Art has added several new additions to the exhibits currently on display. The two most recent ones are “Big Skies/Hidden Stories: Ellen Wagener Pastels” by Ellen Wagener and “Water Flow: Under the Colorado River Photograms” by Kathleen Velo.

    Wagener is a landscape artist who currently resides in Phoenix. She uses pastels on paper in order to recreate southwest landscapes.

    Many of Wagener pieces are large, grandiose displays of color and sky. Wagener often features tornadoes, storm clouds and dust storms moving across fields in her pastels. Wagener strives to not only portray the luminous skies, but also tell hidden stories.

    A lot of Wagener’s pieces highlight a significant moment or part of history. Wagener created 15 different pastels based on the 15 counties in Arizona. Wagener’s piece “Apache” was based on the Apache 8, a group of women firefighters who tamed the largest forest fire in Arizona history back in 2002. “Apache” is a large pastel with dark clouds and yellow sky. None of Wagener’s works exhibit any objects or traces of people — rather, her pieces focus on the natural, beauty of pure landscapes.

    The second exhibit on display is Velos’ “Water Flow: Under the Colorado River Photograms.” Velo is an Arizona-based photographer who, according to her website, captured “the essence of water from below the surface on one of the most important rivers in the United States.”

    On display is a series of photograms: pictures produced without a camera. At night, Velo waded into the water that she wished to photograph and submerged photographic paper in order to capture the water movements, ripples and whatever else inhabited the water at the time.

    Through this unique technique, Velo’s photos feature different water patterns and hues of blue. Next to each of the photograms is a clear bottle with water from which the photogram was taken.

    “This rare perspective of under the surface of water creates beautiful and poetic meditations on water as the force of life,” wrote Velo on her website.

    “Big Skies/Hidden Stories: Ellen Wagener Pastels” is on display until June 26 and “Water Flow: Under the Colorado River Photograms” until July 3.

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