Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce works by two featured artists, one exhibition: The Importance of Being, Christopher Felver’s photographs and films of musicians, artists, writers and poets from the past 30 years; and Excavation, an exhibit of Jean Arnold’s paintings and drawings. The opening is at the gallery, 435 South Guadalupe Street, across from the rail station, from 5:00‐7:00 pm to coincide with the Railyard Arts District Last Friday Art Walk.
“Today, vast operations by transnational mining corporations create strange new landscapes. We have little reference in viewing them, since few of us ever see these places. The extractive economy, in its hunger for raw materials, has entered its late phase – now going after resources in the most difficult and vulnerable places. To depict these operations destroys any sentiment of the “pastoral” that has existed in art.” states Jean Arnold, a painter who is trying to wake us up to what is happening in areas of the country that have been transformed and dismantled in pursuit of energy extraction. Her focus has been on pit mining in particular, and its impact on communities in the West. Since much of the mining happens in places away from large urban areas, many people never see the damage and destruction that comes from these industrial developments. Jean Arnold is asking all of us “where do we go from here?”
Even though Arnold’s paintings describe the destruction of natural environments, the images created are beautiful in their simplicity of line and seductive color. We are drawn into fantastical spaces that could be distant planetary worlds. Arnold is reminding us that we need to be aware of what is going on under the mantle of energy creation and poses the question: how can we continue on this path? Destroying the land that supports us will have consequences, and she wants all of us to be aware that we can participate in the ongoing dialogue about the sustainability of our current practices.