Artist Dee DiCamillo ex­hibits land­scape paint­ings to raise en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness

Tempo - - CONTENTS - By Yvonne Pes­quera

The land­scape paint­ings of Dolores “Dee” DiCamillo are on view at Cen­tinel Bank of Taos, 512 Paseo del Pue­blo Sur, for the month of May.

The show is ti­tled “Ea­gle Ris­ing.” The free, open­ing re­cep­tion is Fri­day (May 11), from 5:30 to 7 p.m. All are wel­come to at­tend.

DiCamillo ex­plained that this is an en­vi­ron­men­tal art show. She has been in­spired to be a land­scape artist through her love for trees, clean streams, wildlife and moun­tains.

“The moun­tains of New Mex­ico brought me here to paint na­ture. I have lived in Taos County for 10 years. Our fam­ily roots are from up­state New York where there are shorter moun­tains,” she said.

The artist has a con­sid­er­able back­ground. She ma­jored in fine arts at In­di­ana Univer­sity and taught full time for decades. In Taos, she teaches draw­ing and paint­ing classes for one se­mes­ter a year. For the sec­ond se­mes­ter, she largely fo­cuses on paint­ing while she sub­sti­tute teaches.

She was in­spired to cre­ate this show, she said. “I think we’re at a crit­i­cal point in our en­vi­ron­ment. There are politi­cians who want to sell off our na­tional forests, our pub­lic lands. Our old-growth forests are vi­tal to a healthy ecosys­tem.”

She is hope­ful that this show will raise aware­ness among the peo­ple who see it and hear about it. “If each of those peo­ple would choose one en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lem and be an ac­tivist, then I think we can turn things around. It has to be individuals who are pas­sion­ate about na­ture: wildlife, wa­ter, trees and moun­tains,” DiCamillo said.

The works in vary in size, as well as fram­ing. Some are acrylics on can­vas; oth­ers are batik on one of three kinds of nat­u­ral ma­te­rial, such as linen, cot­ton, and silk. Over the span of six months, she cre­ated 16 pieces for this show. “What I like about show­ing at Cen­tinel Bank is the light and the space. Some walls will have one large piece by it­self. But if the images are smaller, I may hang them on top of each other or next to each other,” DiCamillo said.

The press an­nounce­ment states that the orig­i­nal land­scape paint­ings and prints will be on sale and a per­cent­age of pro­ceeds will be given to two en­vi­ron­men­tal groups that will be made pub­lic at the open­ing. With­out re­veal­ing the names of the groups, DiCamillo said, “They will be na­tional groups.”

Dur­ing the open­ing, DiCamillo will hand out pam­phlets that list dif­fer­ent non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions that peo­ple may be in­ter­ested in join­ing. The art show will also fea­ture quo­ta­tions and statis­tics on var­i­ous ecosys­tems from bi­ol­o­gists, geo­physi­cists and en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists. She ex­plained, “I’m in­spired to do it lit­er­ally for Mother Earth. Ev­ery­thing’s liv­ing and we are all con­nected. I think we’ve lost that in our cul­ture. The quotes and the statis­tics will be through­out the show and will be next to all of the paint­ings.”

An ex­cerpt of one quote reads: “Man did not weave the web of life, he is­merely a strand in it. What­ever he does to the web he does to him­self.” That quote comes from Chief Seat­tle of the Suquamish Tribe in an 1887 is­sue of The Seat­tle Star.

One land­scape on dis­play is an acrylic ti­tled “Con­dor of the Canyon.” DiCamillo said, “This was painted en plein air at the Grand Canyon. A huge bird fle­wover me while I was paint­ing. I re­searched what kind of bird it was and learned it was a Cal­i­for­nia Con­dor, which was rein­tro­duced in the 1990s. It is crit­i­cal to the ecosys­tem of the Grand Canyon as a preda­tor.”

Another piece on dis­play is batik on nat­u­ral ma­te­rial, ti­tled “Na­tive Dancer and Or­ange Hill.” She said, “Stylis­ti­cally, this one is dif­fer­ent. That’s because it’s an en­tirely dif­fer­ent medium. Batik is when you draw with hot wax over a pale pencil draw­ing. The wax holds the col­ors. The dye will seep from one waxed area to another. I had seen a dancer with this type of na­tive dress. I wanted to make her a spir­i­tual pres­ence in the land­scape. The na­tive woman is an in­te­gral part of the land.”

Af­ter this show­ing in Taos, DiCamillo hopes to move the same show to Santa Fe and then to the Grand Canyon area in Ari­zona.

“I’m mo­ti­vated to do some­thing, and since I’m not an en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist nor a politi­cian, I have to do some­thing for the earth throughmy art,” DiCamillo said.


“NA­TIVE DANCER AND OR­ANGE HILL,” batik on nat­u­ral ma­te­rial by Dolores “Dee” DiCamillo

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