From staff reports
Atlanta collage artist Laura W. Adams teamed with Mystic Osprey Gallery in Beaufort to create awareness about our country’s diminishing maritime forests, and in doing so, they have raised just more than $2,000 for the Port Royal Sound Foundation.
Adams’ original works were purchased by collectors in Savannah, Hilton Head, Jacksonville, Fla., and as far away as Maryland and Denver. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the sales are donated to the foundation.
Her collages include found items from nature, textured papers, painted papers and exotic patterned papers from many different countries of origin that have been cut up, layered, and adhered with acrylic medium. Often, 10 or more layers of material are used to create a single work. The result is a “painting” with a distinct, three-dimensional effect.
The works feature animals found in the maritime forest such as woodpeckers, kingfishers, migratory neotropical songbirds, and a most amazing bobcat stalking prey among a field of black-eyed Susans. Plants and trees of the maritime forest are represented, as well, such as resurrection ferns, Spartina grasses, scrub pines, live oak, palmetto, holly and wax myrtle.
“The show has done beautifully and raised awareness of how we humans are impacting and diminishing the maritime forests. One signature piece, the 36 x 60-inch ‘Kingfishers on the Edge of the Maritime Forest’ is traveling by climate-controlled art van to Denver,” Mystic Osprey Gallery owner Robert Howell said. “We’d love to see the ‘Resurrection Fern and Live Oak’ and ‘Magnolia Tree in Live Oak Forest’ find their forever homes here in the Lowcountry and raise even more money for The Port Royal Sound Foundation. If our wonderful supporters and patrons who have seen the show tell their friends, even more people will be exposed to Laura’s incredible artistry, and our cause.”
“I strive to create artwork that is aesthetically beautiful and speaks to maintaining, even increasing, the beauty of the natural environment around us,” Adams said. “Protecting the birds, animals and their habitats enhances our quality of life and makes us better stewards of the earth. I hope my art brings better awareness of the beauty of the natural world and inspires us to conserve it.”
Maritime forests are increasingly rare coastal ecosystems that support a diversity of plants and animals. Hardy species of trees and bushes withstand high winds, periodic salt water flooding, and salt spray. Mammals and reptiles make the forests their home, and thousands of birds migrate through these forests each year.
“Helping coastal ecosystems can come in a variety of forms,” Port Royal Sound Foundation Naturalist and Education Coordinator Chris Kehrer said. “You can join a beach sweep, volunteer with a turtle protection program, visit a state park, donate to organizations with missions that help educate and protect natural resources and you can contact local and state officials to object large scale developments on coastal islands.”
Adams’ remaining maritime forest works will hang through mid-July. Mystic Osprey Gallery is open noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment (call 843-475-6781). Mystic Osprey will close August and September.
Above: Laura Adams at work in her Atlanta studio