Artist creates exhibits with organic elements

By From page B9 | March 23, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The de Young’s Artist-in-Residence Program presents “Joy Broom, Waxed and Winged: Museum of Natural Curiosities,” through April 1.

Broom creates extravagant, layered three-dimensional specimen boxes that combine her intricate line drawings of organic elements with actual insects, seed pods, branches, body references, antique maps and biological medical sources, all coated with purified beeswax.

Broom presents the viewer with a skewed natural history museum, a cabinet of curiosities and further reflections of a broader natural universe.

Visitors are invited to create personal assemblage boxes with natural (and unnatural) elements, layered with their own artwork created in the studio. Broom brings a sweeping variety of collage resources into the workroom to guarantee unique, fun and imaginative explorations.

“My first word was ‘bug,’” said Broom. “Even as a small child I made small elaborate habitats for various live specimens I’d collected.” As an adult, her work has become a reflection of her travels, as well as her interest in the natural world. “I first started using insects in my two-dimensional work during a month-long stay in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I would find huge, wondrous iridescent winged beetles dead on the street and tuck them in my pockets to paint vivid watercolors of them every day after lunch. This installation is about my own compulsion to collect, combine and impose aesthetic order on natural ‘finds’ and disparate elements.”

The Artist Studio is presented by Cultural Encounters at the de Young. The Kimball Education Gallery is free to the public and open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Broom is available to provide assistance during gallery hours.

The closing reception to celebrate her residency is Friday, March 30 from 6 to 8:45 pm during the first Friday Night at the de Young program of the year. For more information about the de Young’s Artist Studio call 415-750-3528 or e-mail [email protected]

Broom is a Bay Area artist working in a variety of media, including drawing, oil, watercolor, assemblage and encaustics. She has exhibited her work widely in the Bay Area as well as nationally.

Broom has been awarded a Western States/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Works on Paper and her work is included in the collection of the diRosa in Napa. Born in Spokane, Washington, Broom graduated with her master of fine arts from Washington State University.

The de Young Artist Studio houses a residency program for artists and community-based art groups that allows visitors the chance to explore a working studio environment.

Every month, the de Young invites artists to install and demonstrate their art form at the museum. This interactive program enables visitors to meet artists and gives the artist an opportunity to work with the public. The Artist Studio program is supported by the Fleishhacker Foundation.

Cultural Encounters Friday Nights at the de Young is generously funded by The Hearst Foundation and The Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation. Cultural Encounters is generously funded by the James Irvine Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Columbia Foundation and the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation.

The de Young is inn Golden Gate Park at 51 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in San Francisco.

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