Artist Karrie Hovey stands by her artwork titled “Kaleidoscope” at the Los Medanos College Art Gallery in Pittsburg, Calif., on Thursday, September 28, 2017. Hovey’s exhibit goes from September 26 to October 26. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
PITTSBURG — Although a Bay Area resident, artist Karrie Hovey offers an environmental glimpse into South Africa.
On exhibit through Oct. 26, “Menagerie” is the latest show at Los Medanos College with Hovey’s unusually strong pieces at center stage.
According to Hovey’s website, the research-based/site-specific artist looks to nature for her source of inspiration and “questions how a space can destabilize our expectations and interactions with the environment.” The artist, educator and designer says she prefers her materials and processes to be “purposeful and content-driven.” Her projects have included climate change, habitat encroachment, over-consumption, resource depletion, inequality, borders, labor and more.
A native of Vermont, Hovey first visited South Africa in 2012 and was taken by the country’s beauty but “also the complexity of the challenges faced by all who inhabit the region.” She ended up researching threatened and endangered plants, along with the land and wildlife. She returned in 2015 to forge a strong tie with the “12 Hours for the RhinoArt” project benefiting and bringing awareness of the animal. Her focus has been on poaching and the illegal trade and use of rhino horns in South Africa. According to Project Rhino, 95 percent of the rhinos in the world have been lost in the last four decades, bringing the current number to just some 29,000 worrldwide.
At the heart of her LMC exhibit is that complex and inspiring rhino-driven information.
Two of the works are called “man.I.cure II,” a jarring piece of a rhino taken down for its horns; and “Kaleidoscope,” a lighthearted 5-foot circular wall hanging of butterflies made from acrylic and feathers.
Curtis Corlew, photography and graphic design teacher, attended the recent opening of “Menagerie.”
“It really is an amazing show,” he said. “The students were quite taken and asked (Hovey) endless questions during the reception.”
Gallery director Judi Pettite said “Hovey’s installations highlight endangered animals and question our relationship to their protection and desecration.”
“Karrie Hovey: Menagerie” runs through Oct. 26 at the Los Medanos College gallery (in the library building). Visitors can see the free exhibit from 12:30-2:30 and 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more info, call 925-439-2181. For further details about the artist, visit www.karriehovey.com. For more on Project Thorn, go to http://projectthorn.com/
Reach Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.