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RECYCLED ART: Pahrump artist turns old materials into new art

Pahrump visual artist Mary Burke King opened a solo, mixed-media show crafted from recycled materials at the Tecopa Artist Group Gallery on March 21.

King characterizes her work as expressionistic. She said she strives to communicate feelings and emotions through her work, rather than depict reality or nature objectively.

“I would rather have my art pieces speak for themselves, rather than me trying to define them,” she said. Showpieces include character references and impressions created atop x-ray film, topographical maps and heat-resistant mylar. A goal with any of her creations, she said, is to evoke emotion. But, she added, “I want people to have their own experience.”

The materials provided vastly different surfaces to create a personal exploration of her own impressions. The pieces were created using a variety of water media with a preference for contrasting color schemes.

“I’m dyslexic,” she explained, “So visual impressions are important to me.”

Working with mylar and x-ray film kept her style “loose” and far less defined. A challenge, she said, because each time she touched the paint, an opportunity was created for the piece to take a different direction.

Her favourite piece in the show, she said, is one titled “Internal Dynamics,” which depicts a water-media based interpretive character floating lightly atop mylar. The topographical map pieces, she said, “are not as transient.”

She is unable to pinpoint specific inspiration for the pieces. Nor does she work in series or theme. The art, she said, just happens.

Gallery owner, Amy Noel, said many artistically-inclined people come to the desert to create who are inspired by the landscape, the night sky, the atmosphere and the light. “The quality of the light is amazing,” Noel said. “People dream well out here.”

The Tecopa desert lends itself to creating art, she said, by the fact that every geological event ever recorded is visible there.

Another enticing aspect of the Tecopa-Shoshone region, Noel said, is the sense of camaraderie and support. There is no competition here, she said. Instead, it is a community of “complimenters.”

King’s dimensional, textured, push-and-pull “Adventures in Multimedia” show will continue though May 31. For more information about the show and Tecopa Artists Group visit their Facebook page “Tecopa Artists Group – TAG.”

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