As one of the three artists featured in “Messaging Nature” – an exhibit on display through Dec. 29 at Fort Point Arts Community Gallery in the Seaport that looks at human nature both in terms of how people relate to each other, as well as how they relate to the natural environment – longtime Chestnut Street resident Karen Lee Sobol hopes the show will provide attendees with a renewed sense of optimism as they enter into 2022.
“It’s just a very beautiful and energetic show, and kind of an uplift going into the new year,” said Sobol. “It’s very positive and life affirming.” Besides Sobol, an artist, author, architect, and advocate, as well as a founding member of the Pleiades Network, a self-described “network of women working at the forefront of environmental and social justice,” the exhibit also features work created by her daughter, Sara Zielinski, a visual artist who grew up on Chestnut Street, and is now based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Annie Zeybekoglu, a mixed media painter, book artist, and jewelry designer for more than 30 years, is the third artist featured in the exhibit juried by Jessica Hong of Dartmouth University’s Hood Museum.
“Messaging Nature” includes about four dozen works in all, including several of Sobol’s mixed-media paintings. Collectively called “Nobody’s Nomad,” Sobol’s featured work tells the story of the migration of not only humans, but also of animals, around the world due to the changing environment and sometimes, in the case of humans, for political reasons. The exhibit’s narrative addresses three concerns, according to FPAC Gallery and the artists themselves: what is important to communicate, and how [the artists] do it; how they see individual and collective roles in society; and how their art contributes to conversations about global issues like social alienation, community, and environmental health and stewardship. Additionally, the exhibit exists at the “intersection of art and science,” said Sobol, and further concerns “how art translates for people to science.” Said Sobol, “People see art in visual, visceral ways, and that’s how they remember it. Ideally, the experience can change their outlook and behavior. [This exhibit] is really about ways we communicate.”
An opening reception for “Messaging Nature” – the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery’s final show of the year – took place on Nov. 12, followed by a gallery tour with the artists on Dec. 8. In conjunction with the exhibit, Sobol also served as one of the program’s guest speakers for the UMass Boston Art + Science Café, discoursing on the topic of “Life is a Beautiful Place – What’s Your Message?” on Dec. 17. (Other guest speakers were Zeybekoglu and Andres Ballesteros, a musician, composer, and executive director of the Eureka Ensemble.) “Messaging Nature,” meanwhile, has received the full and enthusiastic support of the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery, as well as from the public, said Sobol, who added the experience has also been a learning experience for her personally as an artist. “I’ve learned so much from how people engage in art,” she said.
“People are having a blast engaging and enjoying. There’s just so much room for interpretation.” Public viewing hours “for Messaging Nature” at the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery, 300 Summer St. are noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 26. To schedule a private viewing of the exhibit before it closes on Dec. 29, email Karen Lee Sobol at [email protected]. Visit www.karenleesobol.com for more information on Karen Lee Sobol; visit www.sarazielinski.com for more information on Sara Zielinski; or visit www.anniezey.com for more information on Annie Zeybekoglu.