Artist sculpts cotton for ‘Octopus’s Garden’

Posted Jan. 26, 2011, at 6:01 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2011, at 4:53 a.m.

“Octopus’s Garden,” Bar Harbor artist Melita Westerlund’s new show, opens with a reception 5-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at College of Atlantic’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery. Westerlund encourages guests to wear tropical attire to the opening.

The colorful, highly textured sculptures and hand-cast paper works celebrate the beauty of coral and ocean life, contrasting with the seriousness behind Westerlund’s exhibit. The show reflects her concern with the dire state of coral reefs around the world.

Westerlund has developed a new sculptural medium created from pre-consumer cotton fiber waste for the show.

“The color and texture of my work is driven by the more abstract notions and intended to elicit responses both to my art and to the challenges of saving coral reefs,” wrote Westerlund in a statement accompanying the show. “The stress on the reefs is manifold. Both natural and man-made stresses are the sources of the destruction.”

The Ethel H. Blum Gallery is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For information, e-mail cclinger@coa.edu or call 288-5105 or 801-5733.

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