Flinn Gallery Exhibit opens Thursday: Forms of Nature – Joan Goldin and Leigh Taylor Mickelson

The Flinn Gallery’s latest exhibit, Forms of Nature: Joan Goldin and Leigh Taylor Mickelson opens Thursday, October 27.

This exhibition includes an extensive range of  paintings, photos, and prints by Joan Goldin; and ceramic sculptures by Leigh Taylor Mickelson. Together, they show an extraordinary breadth of inspiration drawn from the forms of nature.

Forms of Nature, the Flinn Gallery’s second show of the season, illuminates Nature’s countless guises, in the endless variety of our ever-changing surroundings. Our world is filled with objects that are part of a creation scheme that predates man’s structures, and each of us imagines nature’s objects differently. 

Joan Goldin and Leigh Taylor Mickelson are the two artists featured in the exhibit and both credit Nature as inspiration. As they each reflect their own imaginative processes and create using different media, their interpretations are varied yet complementary. Painting, photography and ceramic sculpture inspired by nature and interpreted by the artists’ visions will fill the gallery from the show’s opening reception on October 27 until December 7.

There will be an opening reception Thursday, October 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  

Chicago’s Joan Goldin has followed an unusual artistic pathway to the display of her painting and photography in this show. A medical illustrator, graduating from the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago, she first used her sharp eye and pencil to translate complicated surgical procedures into clarifying images which are included in numerous medical publications. Precision, skill, and persistence led her to expand her horizons and earn a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from Bard College. She is also a PhD. Candidate in Philosophy from the European Graduate School in Switzerland. With her expansive education, and boundless curiosity she pursued other thinking and expanded the variety of her image creation. “Her work is in a continual state of revision, with multiple takes on a given subject.” Varying and combining media like oil, charcoal graphite and photography, allows her to present nature inspired subjects to create different atmospheric effects. At times she seems to transform familiar creatures and objects so they have a spectral quality that is recognizable and at the same time other-worldly. Both national and international galleries and museums have shown her work. A monograph of Joan Goldin’s full body of work, published by Boston-based Un-Gyve Press, is being released in conjunction with this exhibit.

The ceramic sculptures of Leigh Taylor Mickelson lend a whimsical touch to the idea of nature’s influence as an inspiration for creativity. A resident of Ossining, NY, Leigh graduated from Hamilton College and received her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts. Of her work, she writes. “Joy is important to me. My artwork and my life’s work are focused on connecting, collaborating, and creating meaningful opportunities for others to discover joy and find balance.” She sees in nature’s forms metaphors for human emotional, spiritual, and physical experiences. “In the studio it is about trying to make a work that will make someone stop in their tracks and take a breath.” She believes art should “create meaningful experiences” and expand viewers’ horizons. In addition to her own sculptural work, she consults for a number of non-profit organizations, and served as the Executive Director of the Clay Art Center in Port Chester.

Forms of Nature invites visitors to contemplate familiar objects through these artists’ interpretations of their subjects. How do their imaginations reshape the way we, as viewers gain new insights? Seeing their creations may stimulate new approaches to our own view of ordinary scenes.

Curators Leslee Asch and Alexis Abram have arranged this show which opens with the reception on October 27 and runs until December 7.

The artists will each give talks. Joan Goldin will speak on Saturday, October 29 at 2:00 P.M. and Leigh Taylor Mickelson will speak on Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 P.M. The Flinn Gallery is funded and sponsored by the Friends of the Greenwich Library, and is located on the second floor of the library, 101 West Putnam Avenue.

Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday 10-5 Thursday until 8, Sunday 1-5. For more information visit: http://flinngallery.com

Leigh Taylor Mickelson, LURE (sporangium) detail, porcelain, nichrome wire, steel base, 12 in. x 12 in. x 52 in., 2012
Joan Goldin, No. 32, Untitled Landscape, oil on canvas, 60 in. x 72 in. c. 2017