Some say that the solution to the Earth’s climate and environmental challenges runs straight through the trail being blazed by art, design, and architecture, coupled with the deep knowledge that science brings to collaborative projects. I am concerned about the health of our planet, its cries for help amid vanishing species, deforestation, plastic pollution of the oceans and rivers, and the indifference of a stressed-out population too busy to care.
The interconnectedness of all living things—humans, animals, birds, trees, plants, fish—is too big and too important to overlook. Regardless of what I paint, there is an element of nature and an awareness of a planet in crisis. People are not so different from all the other living creatures and plants in the world and much could be learned from the natural behaviors of the natural world. It is a classroom, a meditation room, a prayer room, a cry room, a loving room. It is a room where all the best gifts are given, without strings, without conditions, without constraints, just free.
Using paint sticks, encaustic, metal leaf, and disparate materials on various substrates, I challenge viewers to note that space in environmental activism that is as yet uninhabited. My process is intuitive, allowing the materials to lead the way. My forms and lines are organic, my surfaces deeply textured as if hiding a mystery. Layer upon layer, I strive for a tactile quality and a sense of something beneath the surface. This series reminds us of the ever-rising sea levels, and the melting icebergs, ice floes, and glaciers. Have you ever witnessed the destruction of one Nor’easter on surrounding beaches, seawalls, rip rap, roads, and houses? Increasingly violent weather patterns are causing destruction to be commonplace.
The health of U.S. waters and fisheries is of utmost importance to its residents. The Seacoast, with its commercial fisheries, its kelp farms, its commitment to sustainable food production, is especially vulnerable to the indifference of tourism, of consumerism, of climate change, and other hard to regulate practices that currently endanger it. We artists share a connection in our ongoing interest in raising awareness of the need to rescue and steward the planet, using our artistic tools to teach, inform, and persuade public viewers to join us in the crusade against environmental indifference.
Pat Gerkin’s abstract paintings and mixed media have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows throughout the Washington, DC area and New England, and she has exhibited in several museum shows, including Saco Museum, Saco, ME; The Art Complex, Duxbury, MA; and Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA.
Ms. Gerkin received her B.A. from Fairmont State College, and she has studied art independently and through the Corcoran School of Art, Arlington Arts Center, NOVA, and The Art League. She is an Associate Artist of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA; a member of the Ogunquit Artist’s Association in Ogunquit, ME; a former member of the Copley Society of Boston, and of the Women’s Caucus for Art. She was a founding member of New England Wax, Elemental, the Art Collective, and of Painters & Poets. She is represented by Mitchell • Giddings Fine Arts , Brattleboro, VT; Powers Gallery, Acton, MA; L’Attitude Gallery, Boston, MA; Barn Gallery, Ogunquit, ME; and Art 3 Gallery, Manchester, NH.
Ms. Gerkin was awarded an artist’s fellowship for painting at Vermont Studio Center, 2001, and was chosen to represent the U.S. and exhibit two works in the American Embassy in Kuwait, 2016-2017, as part of the Arts in Embassies program of the U.S. State Department. Her works are included in many collections in the U.S., Brazil, and Europe.