Art and science merge in new exhibit at River Arts

Work by Jacqueline Johnson Submitted photo

DAMARISCOTTA — River Arts Gallery presents Jacqueline Johnson in a solo show in the River Room. The exhibition runs from Friday, Sept. 11, through Thursday, Sept. 23. Johnson’s work, deeply inspired by nature and her concern for climate change, combines her fine technical skill with powerful emotional content.

Work by Jacqueline Johnson Submitted photo

With a bachelors of fine arts from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, Johnson has a broad experience with oil painting and illustration. She is a visual arts instructor in the Bath Public School where she encourages her students to “observe, examine and question like a scientist and to see like an artist.”

Work by Jacqueline Johnson Submitted photo

Speaking of her motivations, Johnson said, “I am an artist and an educator. I approach my art work being inspired by scientific illustration and at the same time, abstracted imagery. I find inspiration in what I have seen and experienced while exploring the woods and waters in and around Maine. I can see and feel how fast climate change has taken over our natural world. My paintings strive to show you an image of a creature that you may recognize and, at the same time, let you see the trouble brewing. Perhaps nesting birds are tangled in the fishermen’s nets or the forest around the loon is menacing in the painting. On the other hand, I enjoy using a magnifying glass to examine specimens and recreate their structure just as I see it. My art illustrations turn into more realistic forms and textures using large scale drawings and pen and ink sketches. I want the viewer to be drawn into the work so that they take the time to see the amazing forms found in nature. My hope is that a drawing or painting might inspire a meaningful connection between the viewer and the changing landscape.”

River Arts is at 36 Elm St. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the gallery at 207-563-6868.

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