Into the Forest – Event Blog

If you check this blog regularly (and I know you do), you might remember the March 31 entry about an incredible collaborative installation called "Into the Forest." This was the brainchild of Laura Tabakman, Emily Squires Levine, and Julie Eakes that apparently went something like this: Let's build a forest out of polymer clay, and invite the global polymer clay community to contribute! Anything that really exists in the forest was fair game.

For months, we've been watching as they posted what people from around the globe submitted. And for months, we wondered how they'd manage to pull together such a variety of disparate elements into a cohesive whole.

That question was answered last weekend when "Into the Forest" premiered at the Spinning Plate Gallery in Pittsburgh.

It was amazing. You can see for yourself in the following images. There is no way to accurately recount the incredible breadth of talent & imagination that went into this display – really, truly stunning. More than 300 artists from 27 countries and 37 states (!) – myself included – spent time & energy recreating the myriad flora & fauna of the woods for this project. Everywhere you looked, there was something even more fascinating to see. I know I missed a ton of stuff. The result? An almost endless number of beautiful elements, most made out of polymer clay: frogs, spiders, snakes, butterflies, flowers, leaves, bees, bats, fiddle heads, katydids, grasshoppers, slugs, snails, mushrooms, lichens, crickets, birds, lizards, turtles, fish, pine cones, seeds, beetles, mosses, worms, fungi, trunks, branches, toadstools, flies, grasses, acorns, dragonflies, centipedes... I can't list them all here. There was even a mosaic of the forest itself, made from tiny, brilliant polymer clay tiles. Very Meta.

No photographs could do this exhibit justice, but I think you'll enjoy taking a peek. All images were captured at the gallery on opening night, Friday, November 10:

– Street View of the Spinning Plate Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA –

– A Subset of Contributing Artists, Into the Forest, November 2017 –

– Polymer Clay Tile Mosaic of the Forest –

– A Tortoise by Les Polinko, Flora & Fauna Various Artists –

– Polymer Clay Tendrils by Maggie Maggio –

– Flora & Fauna by Various Artists –

– Life-Size Polymer Clay Dogwood Blossom –

– Fiddle Heads by ArtSci designs, Flora & Fauna by Various Artists –

– Polymer Clay Bats in Flight –

– Polymer Clay Mushrooms –

– Leaves in the Forest by Various Artists –

– Polymer Clay Lizard by Jon Stuart Anderson –

– Flora by Various Artists –

– Flora by Various Artists –

– White Leaves by Emily Squires Levine –

In addition to my personal views of the event, there are a bunch of videos, pictures & posts on the ItF Facebook page, showcasing not just the final installation, but also the fascinating process of curation, preparation & setup prior to last weekend's opening.

The exhibit runs until December 3, and it is definitely worth a trip to the cool city of Pittsburgh, just to look Into the Forest!!

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