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The McCune Collection
505 Santa Clara St, Vallejo, CA 94590

Bay artist Todd Gilens will talk about his approach to creating art. In particular, he will discuss a recent work called “Reading Forest” which was commissioned by the National Forest Foundation and the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership.

Selections from that project will be exhibited from Sept 13-29 at the Temple Arts Gallery as part of the Visions of the Wild Festival.

“Reading Forest” combines drawings of tree rings with phrases adapted a wide range of sources from science papers to poetry to the personal communications of forest managers.

In spring of 2020, these and other drawings will be digitally printed on adhesive-backed sheets and installed in a public place near Lake Tahoe. For more about the project, see:

www.nationalforests.org/readingforest and www.toddgilens.com/readingforest

Artist Statement: I am a visual artist and designer working with people, places and ideas. Trained in landscape architecture, I use drawing, photography and writing as ways to engage sites and subjects. I look for projects that can be shaped in dialogue with communities and clients, developed through historical research, cross-disciplinary learning, and the unique conditions of the places they will inhabit. My focus is on large-scale processes like water systems and ecological change, and how critical but largely invisible processes can be meaningfully encountered. The graphic work through which I develop these projects become their own record of discovery, portable images for intimate viewing. Together, site- and graphic work express the complementary relationships of private and public life.

In artwork, I look for something I haven’t yet seen, but once appearing, feels familiar as if it had always existed. Materials and how they are worked express traditions and moods, images associate to other images, and boundaries can be converted to bridges. Whether a garden design, art installation or sketch, each part of experience reflects a whole, a whole that is everywhere, with an artwork temporarily at its center.

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