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Gene Vass (1922-1996), Untitled, undated; wood and marble, 109 5/8 x 7 1/2 x 6 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Mrs. J. Benjamin Townsend, 1995

Gene Vass (1922-1996), Untitled, undated; wood and marble, 109 5/8 x 7 1/2 x 6 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Mrs. J. Benjamin Townsend, 1995

What is Art? What is Nature? Can one survive without the other?

Art, as defined by Oxford, is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

In Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal, the Philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti wrote:

“If you establish a relationship with it then you have relationship with mankind. You are responsible then for that tree and for the trees of the world. But if you have no relationship with the living things on this earth you may lose whatever relationship you have with humanity, with human beings. We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots. You must be extraordinarily sensitive to hear the sound. This sound is not the noise of the world, not the noise of the chattering of the mind, not the vulgarity of human quarrels and human warfare but sound as part of the universe.”

How do you take something that is inherently beautiful and turn it into something that is subjectively beautiful? Cut it down, tear it apart, put it back together, and display it in a Museum?

How do we as human beings influence art through our shared experience of nature?

How do we as human beings influence nature through our shared experience of art?

A tree, the closest representation of the medium's origin, made (the piece)most appealing.

Robert Cutrona, Museum Registrar