By Alex Edel
New artist-in-residence Kim Abelesâ work will be featured in an environmentally-conscious exhibit in Feldman Horn Gallery this February as part of an effort to educate upper school students on environmental issues.
Abeles, who Visual Arts Head Cheri Gaulke selected in the tradition of featuring professional artistsâ work annually, will turn the gallery into a “leaf lounge” with stuffed pillows in the shape of leaves placed around the room to create a natural atmosphere that will serve as a destination for students and faculty, Gaulke said. In addition, Abeles hopes to incorporate student art into her exhibit, she said.
“Sheâs an incredible role model for students,” Gaulke said. “She is very committed to using her art to help people see things in new ways.”
Abeles has used her art to make political statements as well, stenciling portraits of past presidents on plates and then allowing air pollutants to settle on the space around them to reflect their attitudes toward environmental policy. Presidents who have been apathetic about environmental issues are left outside longer to accumulate more air particulates, making their portraits dirtier.
Abeles has been presenting her work to students in Nancy Popp and Alan Sasakiâs Photo I classes, Paula Evansâ Topics in Calculus and Statistics classes, and Tara Kheradyarâs AP Environmental Science classes.
“Her work is particularly relevant today,” Evans said.Â “I am glad that the students have an opportunity to learn more about what motivates her, and what her perspective is.”