Natalya Burd creates her paintings on tinted Plexiglass panels, while Kirk Maxson forms thin pieces of metal into various types of plants. But despite their different artistic mediums, both artists’ work touch upon themes of nature and the passing of time.
Burd said she was first inspired to make this work years ago, as she was traveling from her home country of Kyrgyzstan to Moscow, Russia. She watched as views swept by the train car window. Recently, she had a similar experience when on a road trip from the West Coast to New Orleans.
“I kept seeing these scenes and thinking about memory,” Burd said. “And about how human history and nature are connected.”
Maxson spoke about how he grew up in the countryside, going on mushroom hunts with his mother and being surrounded by nature. Then he moved to a big city.
“I felt cut off at first,” Maxson said. “But gradually I began seeing plants in places I didn’t expect — in the sidewalks, along houses. I found a new way to engage with nature.”
Pieces by Burd and Maxson are on display side-by-side at the Cabrillo Gallery. Beverly Rayner, program instructor at the gallery, praised both artists for their accomplishments and expressed her gratitude to have their work on display at the college.
“I think this will inspire our students to think big,” Rayner said. “That in art, there are unlimited possibilities out there.”
Burd and Maxson both said they hope their art will prompt viewers to take time to reflect on their lives and appreciate the natural world around them.
“It’s so important to slow down,” Burd said. “Things these days are so temporary. Hopefully people will see this art as a constant.”
“Continuum & Flux” runs until March 1. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 4-6 p.m., with an artist’s talk planned for 5 p.m. The Cabrillo Gallery is located in Library Room 1002 at Cabrillo College’s Aptos campus, 6500 Soquel Drive. For information, call 479-6308 or visit cabrillo.edu/services/artgallery.