Local sculptor and winner of the 2013 Artomatic@Jefferson People's Choice Award, Gil Narro Garcia invites the public to experience "Interpreting Nature," a visual installation that will dazzle the eyes, engage the senses and make you smile. Opening this July, 2014 in the Fire Hall Gallery, 108 N. George St., Charles Town, the Arts & Humanities Alliance (AHA)-sponsored exhibit continues through July 29. The public is invited to attend the free opening reception on July 12 from 5-7 p.m.
An avid gardener since childhood and from a family of gardeners, landscape designers, and ranchers, Gil Narro Garcia's interest in nature, the environment, and human relationship to its color, textures and forces is longstanding.
The transition to creating art was an easy one for him, he says. "I have been creating art in my gardens during a span of over 50 years. I am, nevertheless, an emerging artist in the formal sense."
Gil Narro Garcia is attracted to natural objects and forms and combines them to create works that tell a story. His large outdoor sculptures, for example, add dimension and texture to garden settings. They are also utilitarian. He started making wild grape vine spheres as a way to hold up bleeding hearts, peonies and other long-legged bloomers.
He is currently working on a very large installation of hollowed tree trunks that are lit up from within to highlight their forms, openings, and arrested decaying states. He is also working on a series of trees that have died, but remained intact. "I have painted them in very powerful colors to highlight their branch structure and forms. They take on new life as sculptures," he says.
His indoor sculptures, on the other hand, are installed in and contained by acrylic boxes. The art exists within boundaries, but each piece conjures a humorous message or makes commentary on the foibles of man. "The sculptures might begin with a simple branch, bird nest, or part of a tree trunk," he says, "but, I transform them into dynamically visual constructions with various embellishments and ornamentation. They spring to a very different life!"
A retired federal civil servant, with academic training in the life sciences and anthropology, Gil Narro Garcia is co-owner of Painted Images, Inc., a design arts studio in Harpers Ferry.
A member of AHA, the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, Berkeley Arts Council, Washington Sculptors Group, and the Baltimore Sculptors Group, Gil Narro Garcia has exhibited previously in the Fire Hall Gallery, the Washington Street Gallery, Touchstone Gallery in DC, Artomatic@Jefferson, Hyattstown Art Mill, and Ricco Gallery in Shepherdstown.
For more information about the artist, see his website www.sculpturesfromnature.com
Over 500 people at the 2013 Artomatic@Jefferson cast votes for their favorite work or artist to receive the People's Choice Award from among the 102 participating artists. Gil Narro Garcia won first place. Painter Bruce Waldron and woodworker Greg McNabb tied for second place. Painter Cathy Wilkin took third place.
AHA is a 501 (c)(3) organization founded in Jefferson County in 1975 whose mission is make art happen for everyone. For more information, visit, www.ahajc.org and on Facebook.