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Floodplain Trail Closure: Fontenelle Forest’s Wetlands and Mink Trail at Neale Woods are closed due to flooding.

Floodplain Trail Closure: Fontenelle Forest’s Wetlands and Mink Trail at Neale Woods are closed due to flooding.

Confluences: Sculptures and Paintings by Bart Vargas

Fontenelle Forest is excited to welcome to art of Bart Vargas to the Nature Center’s Baright Gallery. The exhibit, entitled Confluences, includes both paintings and sculptural works and will be on display through the end of June. Vargas’ work uses repetition and salvaged materials to  create pieces of art that are both playful and thought provoking.

On display Saturday, March 11th until the end of June.  The Nature Center is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. everyday. The exhibit is free for members or with daily admission.

Members are invited to a special artist’s reception on Friday, April 7th from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Meet Bart Vargas, learn more about his work, and ask any questions you may have. Light refreshments and hor d’oeuvres will be served.


About the artist

Bart Vargas is originally from Bellevue, Nebraska. He received his BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his MFA at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He has exhibited throughout the world, most recently in the exhibitions Concept Winter 2016 at the Czong Institute of Contemporary Art in Gimpo, South Korea, Maíz at the Museo de Filatelia in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Kolkata International Art Exhibition at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre’ in Kolkata, India. Previous to this, Vargas has exhibited in the Fourth International “From Waste To Art” Exhibition (2015) in Baku, Azerbaijan, the 2012 Santorini Bienniale for the Arts in Santorini, Greece, and the 2010 Beijing International Art Biennial at the National Art Museum of China. His work can be found in many collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia; and has also been featured in many publications including Sculpture Magazine, New American Paintings, and HGTV Magazine.


About the exhibition

CONFLUENCES is a small survey of recent sculptures and paintings by Bart Vargas completed in the last few years. Representing several diverse bodies of work, each object contains underlying elements of commonality, or Confluences that run throughout Vargas’ practice.

“Aspects of salvage, collection and repetition run through all my works. I recover local materials deemed unwanted or useless, including trash, recyclables and surplus items and then transform them into playful, approachable and thought-provoking objects. I want my creations to act as artifacts and evidence of the early 21st century, an era of limited resources and extraordinary consumption and waste.

This practice is most obvious in my sculptures, in which I use readily identified objects such as plastic bottles, cardboard, keyboard keys and empty paint containers. I play with the familiarity of these materials by blurring their identities into universal forms like spheres, globes, maps, pyramids, pills and skulls. These works address such diverse topics as contextual regional geography, the damaging effects of plastic on our bodies and global environment, and the multitudes of waste created by technological advancement. My sculptures evoke the taken for granted nature of everyday materials in society.

My paintings also incorporate the practice of salvage, though to a less apparent extent. I utilize latex house paints from a regional collection site for hazardous materials and paint on wooden panels built from repurposed scraps gathered from theatre sets, construction sites and members of the community.

I paint patterns represented universally throughout human history, including rays, concentric circles, stripes, grids and color fields. I am fascinated with color theory, both the emotion of colors and how they interact with each other. I strive for the image’s energy, movement, color and form to leave the surface, enter space, and engage the viewer. In essence, each painting is both a celebration of and an exploration into color theory, identity, language, and ancient abstract patterns.”

Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

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