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Indepth Arts News:

"ASHES TO ART(r) | scattered"
2008-09-26 until 2008-11-30
Graton, CA, USA United States of America

Prepare to be surprised, delighted, provoked and inspired. This Friday, September 26, a world class exhibition opens with a reception in a Wine County hamlet one hour north of San Francisco. Since 2001, Ashes to Art(r) exhibitions have been redefining the character of funerary urns and scattering options by challenging talented artists worldwide to create them. This is funerary art for 21st Century imaginations, personalities, tastes and needs. ASHES TO ART(r) | scattered exhibition dates are  September 27 until November 30, 2008. The Artists Opening and Awards Reception will be held Friday, September 26, 6-8 PM at Art Honors Life | The Gallery at FUNERIA in Graton, California. Included in the exhibition is Ellen Jantzen's vessel, Metamorphosis, was made to contain a portion of an individual’s ashes and can be considered biodegradable if the owner wishes. Jantzen has been a Premiere Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since 2003.

In Ellen Jantzen's piece, the body of the vessel (which would house the ashes) was created from paper maché. The “feathers” are digital photos of feathers attached with water soluble glue. All is coated with a UV inhibiting acrylic coating so the vessel, if kept dry, should last indefinitely. If the owner wishes it to bio degrade the vessel only need to be buried in moist soil. Ellen estimates that the paper maché body (housing the ashes) would break down within 3-4 months if buried in moist soil.

In their 4th biennial year, Ashes to Art | scattered will feature more than 80 original urns, vessels, reliquaries and ritual scattering artworks by 65 potters, metalsmiths, sculptors, woodworkers, stone and glass carvers, mosaic artists, paper artists and technology innovators selected from 35 states and 5 other countries.

This Friday evening, one artist (or a team) will win a $1,000 Best of Show award. Other award recipients will also be named. At the closing reception, November 30, 3-5 PM, the artwork that receives the most votes by gallery visitors will earn the People's Choice Award--$500.

The Gallery at FUNERIA's goal is to lighten the burden placed on loved ones - and soften the fear for ourselves - when what remains of the physical self is no more than ashes and dust. One artist's vision at the close of the 20th century has now opened an alliance between two groups: artists whose creativity compels them to express beauty, and those who seek art as a means to honor a beautiful life.

The inevitability of death, and our comfort with it, is experienced differently - often dramatically so - among the world's cultures. In common among us, however, is our sorrow for the loss of a loved one's vitality, wisdom, humor, and idiosyncrasies. We may have questions, and the answers are gone.

What we can have, however, in remembrance of a singular life, is easily available when we allay fear and sadness with art and beauty. Art is communicative and can help to heal a troubled heart. The art we choose in honor of another, or for ourselves, stands in for us when we're no longer here.

View more of Ellen Jantzen's work in her Premiere Portfolio at absoltuearts.com.

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