Ode on a Desert Tree: Mesquite Exhibition at Tohono Chul Park

'Mesquite Morn' by Miriam Otte

I love my own backyard mesquite for its shade, its wood (I soak windfall branches in water before throwing them on the barbie) and its delicious, sweet beans (which I grind into flour for baking).  You get a sense of all of these uses and more when you tour Tohono Chul’s Mesquite exhibition.  It really showcases the many ways we desert rats appreciate this vital part of our ecosystem, as well as the amazing variety of artistic media–from handmade books to wood carving–that you can find in Tucson.

My friend CJ Shane’s triptych incorporates parts of the plant in her mixed media creation… Josh Schacter’s photograph of a large stack of mesquite flapjacks is mouthwatering…Trish Hastings-Sargent, another friend and textile artist, does some exquisite thread painting in her piece, and I like my friend and fellow fiber artist Miriam Otte’s submission so much that I will be bringing it home at the end of the show.  It is called ‘Mesquite Morn’ and uses a photographic process called cyanotype….I love the subtle shading the process gives the border fabric and the cyanotype on silk is delicate, beautiful, and mysterious.  I have the perfect place for it in my home and can’t wait to see it installed!

You still have time to see ‘Mesquite’ at Tohono Chul’s Main Gallery before it closes July 22.

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