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Today's Family Magazine

The Holden Arboretum to host traveling exhibit Shedding Light on the Working Forest

Apr 07, 2017 02:40PM ● By Today's Family
The Holden Arboretum is hosting the traveling exhibit, "Shedding Light on the Working Forest," by painter Kathleen Kolb and poet Verandah Porche now through June 5. The project celebrates the landscape of the working forest and the voices of those who have honed skills into a livelihood there.

Shedding Light draws on the artistic friendship of a painter and a poet who are committed to subjects that have been largely overlooked by the arts. Kathleen Kolb evokes what is solid, luminous, yet ephemeral in the scenes she gathers and painstakingly paints. She talks about how a moment of “emotional ignition” kindles a work of art. The exhibit includes paintings and drawings done by Kolb over a 20 year span. As a writing partner, Verandah Porche befriends, questions and listens, to unearth and preserve the poetry embedded in lived experience. She calls this process “finding the verse in conversation.”

Despite public concern about climate change and sustainability, many people are unaware of what actual work goes on in the forest around them. Vital ecosystem services provided by the forest are often poorly understood. Shedding Light portrays the unseen work of loggers, foresters, mill operators, artisans and others through the eyes of a skilled artist. Those portrayed describe and reflect on their experience, serving as ambassadors to the public. Though the public relies on the working forest, skilled labor is rarely portrayed or deeply valued. The voices of the loggers, sawyers, and others who work in the forest are often absent from conversations about interdependence and care of the planet. The project provides diverse opportunities for the public to consider their own relationship to the forest.

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