Desert Lives

Any opportunity to see new work by Mayme Kratz is one worth taking. The artist, known internationally for her gorgeous cast-resin wall works and sculptures that trap the beauty of the desert landscape in lovely translucent shells, is offering her newest work at Lisa Sette Gallery this month. The show, “Mayme Kratz: falling leaf, flying vapor,” is inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and poet Mary Oliver, whose work has inspired Kratz for years. Among the pieces on display is Until I Am Dust, a stirring investigation of the organic beauty of an agave blossom, folded into thin layers of dark resin.

Also on view at Lisa Sette are new works by artist Jo Whaley, whose assemblages marry tintypes and glass-plate portraits of long-deceased strangers with brightly colored butterfly wings. The show, titled, “Portraits of Transformation,” combines art, science, and nature to create new portraits in which the subjects appear to be wearing wings as hats and garments.

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Jan. 4. Continues through Jan. 29, 2011
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela