June 28, 2013
Kimberly Callas (née Ewald, BFA 1995) has received a Puffin Foundation Grant for her sculptural project Portraits of the Ecological Self. The project includes ten hand sculpted life size portraits that combine a detailed likeness of an individual with natural materials that are chosen to reveal the unique bond that the individual has with nature. Callas is a figurative sculptor living in Brooks, Maine. Her work has recently been on exhibit at Flowers Gallery in New York City and as far afield as Sofia, Bulgaria.
Callas moved to Maine ten years ago from the New York City area. Walking to her studio in 2001, Callas witnessed the the attack and collapse of the World Trade Towers. She was five months pregnant with her first son. After the U.S. went to war with Iraq, Callas and her husband moved to Maine and determined to figure out how to best reduce their dependency on foreign oil. They purchased a cut over piece of land to restore and together built an in-ground, super-insulated, off-the-grid house out of the stones they excavated from an old collapsed foundation and buried stone fences found on their property. From this ecological focus, Callas’s figurative artwork began to be infused with natural elements. Fingers grew into branches, skin became bark or wasp paper, hair budded and then flowered.
Callas uses this new artwork as a research tool to dive deep into the psyche looking to discover the pathways to the ecological unconscious, a place within us that still knows that we are nature. “My hope is that through art I can rediscover an ‘ecological self’, the self within us that might hold the answers on how to live sustainably within the cycles and patterns of our home planet,” says Callas.
Some of the initial portraits from Portraits of the Ecological Self will be included in the upcoming exhibits Deepening Roots at Northern Lights Gallery in Belfast, Maine, opening July 5th, and in the exhibit Making Headlines at Mathias Fine Art in Trevor, Maine, opening August 3rd. An artist talk on the project is to be scheduled. For more information, visit http://www.kimberlycallas.com or connect on Facebook at Kimberly Callas Artwork.
Artwork: Birch Bark Breathing, by Kimberly Callas Photo Credit: Photography by William Thuss