West coast artist celebrates resiliency in her work

Chris Quigley
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There’s one piece from her upcoming “Resilience” art exhibit Trudy Jo Campbell didn’t want photographed in advance of the show opening tonight.

Trudy Jo Campbell is seen holding a painting she calls “Pesticide Free,” and on the wall behind her is “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” two pieces featured in her art exhibit titled “Resilience.” —Photo by Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star

The work is called “For KTC,” and stands as a tribute of sorts for three fellow artists — Katrin Kohler, Tina Dolter and Collette Urban — who have died recently.

“Three very wonderful artists that we’ve lost, so it’s an emotional piece,” said Campbell.

“It took a while to pull it out of me, but it came out.”

The idea of resilience came to Campbell when she thought back to people she knew who endured their share of tragedy in 2013.

“I just saw them rebound and move forward with a lot of grace,” she said.  

“I was struck by the resilience of the human spirit.

“I turned that into, a little deeper meaning, I guess,” she added. “In the visual sense.”

Featuring six new works, as well as two that have been exhibited before that fit the theme, Campbell has spent the past six months bringing the exhibit to life, inspired by one of the first flowers of spring, the dandelion.

During her initial research into the topic, Campbell discovered the Stockholm Resilience Centre, which, according to its website, advances research on the governance of social-ecological systems with a special emphasis on resilience — the ability to deal with change and continue to develop.

“One of their studies has the conclusion that the more rapidly a system returns to its balance, the more stable it is,” she said.

“I thought about the dandelion and how we dig it, we spray it, we despise it, we curse it and devote so much energy to getting rid of it, but it’s always there.

“Most of my work has to do with a connection to the natural world,” she continued.

“So it all came out in the dandelion.”

The exhibit is at the J.L. Gallery on Broadway at 5 p.m. and runs until April 29.

Organizations: Stockholm Resilience Centre, J.L. Gallery on Broadway

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