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Watson MacRae Gallery presents ‘Sacred Creatures’

By Staff | Dec 29, 2010

“Eleventh Hour,” by Sherry Rohl.

The first exhibit of the new year at Watson MacRae Gallery will give both art and animal lovers something to talk about.

Sacred Creatures, an exhibition of work by multiple artists depicting the animal world through different viewpoints and a wide variety of media.

An opening reception for Sacred Creatures will be held on Thursday, Jan. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Watson MacRae.

“I got the idea for this exhibit because I am amazed by how committed and dedicated Sanibel is to preserving the wildlife here on the islands, and that inspired me — it got me thinking about artists and their dedication and commitment to painting creatures,” said gallery owner Maureen Watson. “Both ancient and modern cultures worship, revere and respect animals — Catholics have the lamb of God, Hindus have the sacred cow. Why Sacred Creatures? Because all life is sacred, as the Buddhists say.”

As she built the exhibit, Watson selected pieces of artwork from eight artists that represent many different types of animals, including mammals, sea life, farm and domestic animals, birds and insects.

“Tropos,” by Jill Brougher.

“Sherry Rohl is amazing and people love her work because she captures not only the anatomy of a horse, but the essence of it. I found a glass blower from Florida who does abstracted creatures — you don’t know if they’re birds or animals, Jean Noon from Maine makes animal sculptures out of wire, Gretchen Scharnagl draws insects and Fran Gardener does embroidery of the seven endangered Florida birds,” Watson said. “I’m very excited about this exhibit.

The day after the opening, Friday, Jan. 7, Professors of Art Fran Gardener and Gretchen Scharnagl will present an Artist Talk in the Gallery from 11 to noon, where the artists will talk about their work and what inspires them.

“The oil spill in April upset Fran Gardener so much that she wanted to tell the story of these birds and really, since ancient times, stories have been told through embroidery and tapestries,” Watson said. “Gretchen Scharnagl loves to observe the unobserved and look at the overlooked. She found all these insects in her studio and honored them by capturing them and giving them a certain nobility and she frames them in a way that gives them presence.

To further celebrate and support the islands’ wild population, during the opening reception, the Gallery will conduct a raffle to benefit CROW. Raffle tickets are $5 a piece and the winner of the drawing will win a piece of art work.

For more information, call 472-3386 or go to www.WatsonMacRaeGallery.com‘>www.WatsonMacRaeGallery.com.

Watson MacRae Gallery is located at 2340 Periwinkle Way, #B3, on Sanibel.