“The interplay of art, nature and technology in latest Sonoma Valley Museum of Art exhibit,” Sonoma Index-Tribune

A mixed media piece by exhibitor Courtney Egan.

By Lorna Sheridan, via sonomanews.com

Two exhibits inspired by the world of nature open this Friday at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Four artists use nature’s elements as inspiration. A member’s reception for the artists will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

“Between Nature and Technology” is an exhibition of artwork from New Orleans-based artists Courtney Egan and David Sullivan.

With a variety of new-media methods and artistic techniques, including photography, collage and computer coding, Egan’s work explores the prevailing relationship between people, technology and nature through the tropical flora of New Orleans. She says her projection-based sculptures are not only shaped by the space they occupy, they are activated and react to the presence of the viewer.

David Sullivan’s highly saturated, animated landscapes are intended to deal with the long-term impact that civilization has on the landscape. According to musem press materials, his painterly approach to the digital 3-dimensional animations create an obscured sense of scale, taking you from the molecular to the celestial and the familiar to the unknown.  Sullivan has had several solo exhibitions, including exhibitions at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and Lawndale Arts Center in Houston. Egan is currently a media arts faculty member at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and her work has been shown at Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, and Colorado State University Art Museum in Fort Collins.

Egan and Sullivan are married and have lived and worked together for 25 years, most of that time in New Orleans. Their work spans animation, sound, sculpture, photography and interactivity to explore the delicate and evolving relationship between people, technology and the environment. “Technology is a double edged sword, encompassing the possibilities of exploring and understanding the world around us in ways we could never do before, and changing it in ways we may not survive,” said Sullivan.

The show was organized by Flynn O’Brien, exhibition manager for the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. He expects that the show will create a buzz among young people in Sonoma County because of the creative use of new and interactive media. The show runs through March 6, 2016.

Also opening at the museum on Friday is the exhibit, “Contemplative Elements,” featuring the work of Danae Mattes and Frances McCormack. Both Mattes and McCormack create work focused on nature’s elements. Mattes combines materials and methods that are, in themselves, extracted from the earth and interacting in ways inherent to minerals, water, fibers and gravity. Combining landscape drawings, stark architectural elements and loosely interpreted botanical forms, McCormack’s paintings manifest a range of feelings reflected through the natural world in an invented space. For both artists, form is referential, but not realistic.