Catalina Echeverri had never seen a peony before moving to America. Because the plant requires cold winters and a temperate climate, they were not native to her home in Colombia. She became infatuated with the plants’ massive blooms, so heavy that they frequently tipped over to the ground. She immediately incorporated them into her gardens. And soon after that – into her photography!
OF PEONIES AND MASTERS is a unique exhibit that partners the peony with the work of fine artists. Echeverri credits the painting Water Lilies by Impressionist artist Claude Monet for providing the initial spark which led to this series of photos. Monet himself drew much inspiration from the beauty of nature and once said, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” The Monet peony was the first of this series.
“We are thrilled to have this unique exhibit at Creative 360,” commented Colleen Reed, program director and gallery curator. “Catalina’s creative interpretations of the masters are engaging for people of all ages and all who come will leave knowing more about artists and art forms.”
A lifelong photographer and art history enthusiast, Echeverri captured her photos using both a Nikon SLR and her iPhone. She credits her study with both Armin Mersmann and Preston Jones for guiding the development of her artistic style and the techniques used to manipulate these photographs. She has been shooting and developing her own film since the age of ten.
Each photo in this series is intended to reflect the style of a famous artist, ranging from graphic artist Robert Rauschenberg to Spanish poet Federico García Lorca to musician Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones. All the peonies depicted came from her very own garden, where she cultivates the flowers she has come to love so much. When asked which piece is her favorite, Echeverri hesitated. “That would be like choosing a favorite child,“ she laughed. “Impossible. Although I do have a special fondness for the Firebird Peony and the Vivaldi Winter Peony. ”
All are welcome to attend the exhibition opening on June 11th at 7 pm with music provided by Bryan Rombalski and friends. Escheverri’s 74 works will be on display through July 18th. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm, evening and weekend hours vary and guests who desire to come outside of normal operating hours should contact Creative 360 for the schedule. As always, entrance to the gallery is at no charge and Creative 360 is grateful for the donations that allow them to continue this practice.
Additionally, Echeverri will be hosting an artist’s talk at Creative 360 on June 15th at 6 pm. Guests can learn more about her story and the methods used to create this unique and inspirational collection. Tickets are available by calling Creative 360 or online at becreative360.org/events. There is no charge, however the gallery is requesting a $10 donation. Additionally, proof of vaccination is required to attend.