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Natural Objects exhibit ‘Forest Remnants’ to bring the elements indoors in Dublin, Ohio

Courtesy of Janet Cooper

Tree bark, sticks and leaves might not be the tools an artist would normally use, but for artist Char Norman, it’s a way to make a tribute to Mother Nature.

Her exhibit “Forest Remnants” opens Tuesday at the Dublin Arts Council gallery in Dublin, Ohio, at 6 p.m.

The exhibit features sculptures based on objects found in nature and was created to raise awareness on destruction of the environment, including natural disasters, and keep viewers concerned with the natural and man-made hazards toward nature, she said.

“I have been an artist for a long time, and work tends to build on previous work,” Norman said. “I have been involved with environmental issues and natural elements for years but recently noticed a lot of storms and infestation that have killed a lot of trees, and that’s what inspired this particular exhibit.”

Her sculptures are generally modeled after the way the forest object was originally formed before deconstruction, by taking pieces from them, such as bark from a tree, and reconstructing it.

Norman earned a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College and a master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University, both located in Claremont, Calif.. She has had numerous lectures and exhibits around the world and was recently appointed dean of faculty at Columbus College of Art and Design.

Norman’s first exhibit focusing on natural elements, “Mending Nature,” was held a few years ago, and it slowly spiraled into working on “Forest Remnants,” she said.
It was her first idea of how she could fix trees that had been cut down.

Janet Cooper, marketing and public relations manager at the Dublin Arts Council, said viewers, especially students, can benefit from visiting the “Forest Remnants” exhibit.

“I find ‘Forest Remnants’ so compelling because I see in it a message about our environment and humankind’s relationship to living things,” Cooper said. “I hope viewers will find both beauty and meaning in the artist’s work.”

Norman said “Forest Remnants” was created specifically for the Dublin Arts Council because of its location on a river, surrounded by trees.

“(‘Forest Remnants’) references the trees and brings the outside in with harmony between inside-outside and people in nature,” she said.

Becky Beaulieu, a third-year in Spanish and psychology, said she is excited to see Norman’s exhibit.

“I cannot wait to see what is in store,” Beaulieu said. “I have always been a promoter of environmental awareness and I am interested to see it in its art form.”

A reception featuring Norman will be held on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to commence the exhibition at the Dublin Arts Council gallery, located at 7125 Riverside Dr., Dublin, Ohio. The regular exhibit hours are scheduled to be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through Feb. 22. Admission is free.

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