Josie Merck at Spring Street Gallery

Josie Merck will be having her second guest-artist exhibition at the Spring Street Gallery with an opening on Saturday, September 4. Her work has covered natural subjects before: “Trees of Block Island” and “Natives/ Invasives/ and Exotics.” This show is inspired by the natural history of insects.Merck has been looking specifically at an old nest that was given to her by her family in Rhinebeck, New York. She learned this is the work of bald-faced wasps (or hornets). The earthy colors were appealing to her eye as well as the rhythmic pattern of the “paper” bands of contour lines.Her intimate collection of paintings and a few objects relate to the exquisite product of the bald-faced wasp queen’s yearly task of creating a home: the wasp nest. Instinctively, we humans tend to avoid these nests, often knowing from generations of experience that wasps are threatened when disturbed.Wasp nests have been painful at times. But for the studied and curious observer, the home of this social species is revealed as wondrous: serving as an incubator, a nursery, a fortress – and perhaps even an art gallery! Like bees and ants and other species considered “eusocial” by evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson

Block Island Times – Read More>>