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Gallery showcases abstract art

Art Gallery
Kelly Myers visits “Garden in the Sky” art exhibit done by John Siblik. The exhibit showcases abstract nature images. — Emily Novotny/TRUMPET

Upper Iowa University professor John Siblik has brought his abstract image of nature to Wartburg.

“Garden in the Sky,” an art exhibit by Siblik, is on display now through Nov. 7 in the Waldemar A. Schmidt Gallery in the FAC.

The exhibit consists of sketches, paintings and three-dimensional sculptures. Siblik focuses on trees and other natural elements as well as geometric shapes as his subject matter.

“The goal of  ‘Garden in the Sky’ is to provide a point of view about how we see, shape and consider nature from cultural, political and historical perspectives,” Siblik said of his collection.

“Woods and forests are gardens in the sky. They make for a canopy, a room, and a space to contain, to frame. A place in which to comprehend space: contained, secret, horrifying, awesome.”

Siblik, who was on campus Nov. 2 for a reception, has taught art at UIU since 2002. His work has been displayed throughout the United States and abroad.

The exhibit’s target audience, Siblik said, is children and families.

“‘Garden in the Sky’ is meant as a subtle visual metaphor to remind us all to be for mindful and appreciative of the natural world,” Siblik said.

Art major Connie Jun expressed admiration toward Siblik’s work.

“There was a cohesive mix of natural colors and organic textures uniting geometric shapes and industrial features,” Jun said. “This exhibit reminded me that art has no limits and no rules.”

Gallery director Zhijian “Alice” Wang said she hopes Wartburg students stop in to enjoy Siblik’s work this week.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” Wang said. “It’s consistent and everything works well together. He’s got some wild ideas, but it’s good.”

“‘Garden in the Sky’ is about framing nature,” Siblik said. “We have a tendency to make or shape aspects of the world around us in our own image.”

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