The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry has invited me to return this year for another edition of its annual Diversity Week.
This year’s week of special events spotlighting the college’s tremendous and vibrant diversity will include a pop-up art show. Last year, the show presented all media, while this year it will focus on photography.
Diversity Photo Gallery
The Diversity Photo Gallery jurors selected two of my spring flower photographs as part of the 2018 exhibition, which will be on view at Diversity Week’s photo gallery on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.
I will attend this event and look forward to greeting visitors and chatting with the other artists, all of whom are connected to the UIC College of Dentistry in some way, either as employees, students, donors, alumni, or friends.
Diversity Metaphors: How Flowers Demonstrate Diversity
My pieces this year consist of two flower photographs. Each one offers a metaphor for the theme of diversity.
Nature sustains physical life on planet Earth. Yet it also feeds our souls. If you’ve gazed at the full Moon, a colorful sunset, or a mountain landscape, you know the joy that nature’s beauty inspires.
According to many spiritual traditions, the natural world’s beauty and majesty also feed our souls by bringing us to a state of awe and a realization of something larger and greater than ourselves. Indeed, this spiritual food is as vital as the fresh fruits and vegetables that help our bodies stay healthy.
From the soul’s perspective, nature serves as a mirror. What we see and how we feel about it reflect our background, culture, and education – as well as our spiritual state. Cultivating the ability to see nuance, patterns, and a divine presence or signature in nature helps us grow spiritually and hear the whispers of the soul.
Flowers provide a perfect means to begin this practice.
Purple And Yellow Tulips
The Purple And Yellow Tulips Landscape photograph was taken on an overcast afternoon in mid-May. It celebrates springtime’s abundance, comfort, and beauty.
It also demonstrates the harmony that arises out of diversity. Yellow and purple occupy opposite sides of the color wheel. Typically, the word “opposition” strikes us as negative. Yet opposites also attract and can create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. In this photograph, yellow and purple tulips, seemingly so different, actually are quite similar: all are tulips, all are in bloom, all are part of nature. Together, they balance each other and form an interesting and beautiful whole.
Applying this concept to humanity, we realize that people who appear very different actually have much in common, and when they unite in harmony, they are enriched and create a relationship or community that exceeds what any individual could achieve alone.
Pink Magnolia Photograph
A more subtle variation on this theme can be seen in Pink Magnolia.
Seeing a massive magnolia one May Day inspired several photographs, including this one showcasing an almost overwhelming wealth of flowers in full bloom. Brilliant sunshine plays over dozens of large pink flowers that stand in contrast to a mid-spring sky appearing crystal blue clear thanks to chilly temperatures that day.
This image demonstrates nature’s physical beauty and material bounty by showing an enormous magnolia tree abundant with perfect pink blooms.
At first, the flowers all look the same. Taking time to really see them, though, shows that, while they’re all magnolia blossoms, roughly the same color, and all in bloom, each differs somewhat from the rest.
Applying this metaphor to humans, we can realize that even people who may seem very similar actually are different, sometimes dramatically so. Once, again, we realize the underlying unity in diversity.
Both Photographs Available As Prints, Cards
Purple And Yellow Tulips Landscape and Pink Magnolia are part of my Spring Flowers And Trees collection of photographs, available as fine prints and greeting cards through Fine Art America.
Every image is available in seven formats:
- Canvas print: Brings artwork to life with the texture and depth of a stretched canvas print
- Framed print: Choose among hundreds of different frame and mat combinations
- Art print: Produced on acid free paper, using archival inks, to last a lifetime; includes a white border for matting and framing
- Acrylic print: Places the image directly onto the back of a 1/4 inch think sheet of clear acrylic to provide high gloss, rich colors
- Metal print: Places the image directly onto a sheet of aluminum, with a high gloss coating
- Wood print: Places the image onto a sheet of 3/4 inch maple to give an earthy texture to the finished print
- Greeting card: 5 by 7 inch card featuring semi-gloss coating for the image; customize your message inside