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Floraborealis: Featuring Works by Cynthia Wick, June 30 through Aug. 27

Floraborealis: Featuring Works by Cynthia Wick, June 30 through Aug. 27

Berkshire Botanical Garden's featured 2023 summer art exhibition was Cynthia Wick’s “Floraborealis,” from June 30 through Aug. 27.

“Floraborealis” featured joyous, incandescent paintings that emerged out of the dark Covid years of isolation, when the artist took refuge in her studio in Lenox, Mass., going inward for inspiration and exploring her memories of color, light and beauty. 

“The quiet and isolation of Covid allowed me to really hear the inklings inside me in a new way,” says Wick. “There was a kind of urgency to listen to and access a voice I hadn’t fully acknowledged before. I felt a fearlessness in the face of so much darkness.” 

Wick’s love of nature is undeniable as flowers, star-filled skies and bodies of water merge into distant, twinkling, city lights. Her materials are acrylic paint and painted paper collage. The artist also adds found objects like metallic cocktail umbrellas, glitter and Japanese paper she collects.

These are deeply felt and personal works complex in their layering of vivid color. Wick works loosely and intuitively in the beginning of each picture, then slowly builds up the surface with multiple layers of paint and collage. 

“The back and forth with paint and collage is a kind of call and response,” Wick explains. “A tiny bit of torn yellow paper chatters with a delicate, glaze-y, violet paint stroke. I’m learning at all costs to trust the painting to tell me what it needs. The uncertainty in that makes painting endlessly exciting to me, like a wild ride.”

“Floraborealis” was Wick’s second show at Berkshire Botanical Garden, following her 2019 exhibition, “The Shape of Color.”

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