Pollinators: Jean McElvane + Mary Mortimer
For the past several years, NIAD artist Jean McElvane has been creating richly retailed sculptures (with found and recycled materials) of nature’s pollinators – butterflies, humming birds, bats and bees. The objects, when finished, are often hung as mobiles, and offer a look at the importance of these creatures in our fragile ecosystem.
Prior to NIAD, Jean McElvane studied art and music at Contra Costa Community College for two years. She also worked as an artist’s assistant. Her paintings and drawings tend toward realism, but the majority of her work is in the craft field, creating meticulously built fiber projects.
When Oakland-based artist Mary Mortimer saw how the border wall would impact migratory pollinators she felt compelled to use the power of her letterpress to help these creatures. All of the proceeds from sales of her amazing prints (celebrating pollinators) will be donated to the National Butterfly Center at the border in Mission, Texas.
Mary Mortimer started out as a painter. Inspired by mentors Amos Kennedy and Alan Kitching, she’s been able to explore painting using type and ink. Every print is an artist’s proof, hand-inked and unique within the edition. The type she uses is antique wood and all prints are made using vintage presses.
NIAD is located at 551 23rd Street in Richmond California. The exhibitions are on view from April 6-25, 2019. Opening reception is Saturday, April 13 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm with a DJ set from John Everett.