The Gardener of Eden

In our salad days, many of us used the desert as a safe haven to carpet-bomb our brains into oblivion. We’d drive into the night like frontiersmen of coked-out glory, veering off-road into the scorching abyss. Darkness would resonate around us, as if it were more tenor than color. We were too blitzed to take note of these intricacies, of course, or to rejoice in the vastness of our surroundings.

With the help of Ellen Wagener’s art, we may be able to gain a newfound appreciation for Southwestern landscapes. Her pastels uncover the variety of the region’s scenery, ranging from farmland to monsoon settings, but they aren’t mere photographic imitations. The skies and cloud formations that dominate her pieces add a distinctly moody quality to the panoramas, revealing the artist’s state of mind during their rendering. Her landscapes often appear otherworldly, as they promote a silence that we aren’t accustomed to.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 2. Continues through Jan. 31, 2008
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Nina Carapetyan