Portrait of the Ecological Self
The Leonard Craig Gallery
Unity College Center for the Performing Arts
August 15th – September 12th
Reception: September 9th 5-7pm with Artist Presentation at 6pm
An exhibit entitled Portrait of the Ecological Self by Maine artist Kimberly Callas will be featured at the Leonard Craig Art Gallery, Unity College Center for the Performing Arts (UCCPA), from August 15 to September 12, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The gallery is located at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts (UCCPA), 42 Depot Street (off Route 202) in Unity, Maine. A reception will be held at the UCCPA on Tuesday, September 9 from 5 – 7 p.m. with a Pecha Kucha style Artist Presentation at 6 p.m. Pecha Kucha presentation style is of Japanese origin and features 20 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each (six minutes and 40 seconds in total).
A 2013 grant award by The Puffin Foundation provided support for the development of Portrait of the Ecological Self. The Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The exhibit examines the question of whether there is an ecological self, or a place within each individual that is in tune with nature. The concept of the ecological self allows one to think in terms of the self as interconnected with all of nature.
“When considering the theory that there is a part of us that (innately) remembers we are of the natural world, not separate from it, I set off to find those connections through art,” noted Callas. “My hope was that if we could access our ecological selves, we could find ways to live within nature’s patterns, cycles, and limits.”
Convinced that science alone would not offer the insights she was seeking, Callas combined scientific observation with spiritual practice and researched her first subject: herself. She spent her mornings researching symbols from nature that are significant to the psyche, like circle, center, sun, mountain, and cave. “I would then use meditative writing and drawing techniques and in that way, prepare myself for the sculpting sessions,” Callas explained. “In the afternoons I would sculpt.”
Ultimately, Callas released the good that comes from personal attachments to nature. Such personal experience leads to action in the form preservation and conservation of the natural world, or sustainable solutions to ensure a viable planet in perpetuity.
Callas was also influenced by the events of September 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq. “I witnessed the attack and collapse of the World Trade Center while walking to my studio,” Callas stated. That and the war in Iraq led Kimberly, her husband and young child to relocate to Brooks, Maine, where they hand built an in-ground, stone house that is off-the-grid and heated solely with wood.
Callas has been rigorously trained in classical figurative sculpture. Her work has been exhibited both in the United States and internationally. More information about Kimberly Callas and her work is available online at www.kimberlycallas.com.
Starting in 2007, Unity College made a dramatic statement by becoming the first in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, thereby igniting a growing national movement in higher education to ensure the sustainability of the planet.
Through the framework of sustainability science, Unity College provides a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Through experiential and collaborative learning, our graduates emerge as responsible citizens, environmental stewards and visionary leaders.