Archaea: Secret Life in Yellowstone & Beyond
Mixed Media by Robbie Lipe

Local artist Robbie Lipe has lived and worked in Western North Carolina since 1986. Lipe is an art teacher at Vance Elementary School in Asheville and co-founder of ArtSpace Charter School in Swannanoa. This exhibit focuses on single-celled organisms and their relationship to a healthy environment.

This exhibit will be on display November 1 - 30.

An opening reception will be held November 7, 2:00-4:00 pm.

For more information about Lipe's work, visit her website.

News Release

Artist Statement

            My art is about my relationship and response to the world around me, and incorporates the items and objects from this world into my paintings. Exploration of textured surfaces that physically underlie my paintings, from three-dimensional objects to textural mediums, and the many possibilities that surface textures present in their depth and sculptural qualities lead to the aspect of chance in my artwork and conceptual questions, determined in part by the surface textures. The surface textures I use range from natural objects like soil and pine cones to synthetic items like plastics and trash.

     My art seeks to raise the question of the delicate balance between a healthy relationship with nature and an unhealthy one. I have unearthed common themes running throughout my collection of paintings: the presence of natural elements in imagery, creation versus destruction, and contemporary art influences. In exploring the duality of creation and destruction in life and culture, the question is raised of the interdependent relationship between humans and their environment. Technology's ability to connect us to everything and everyone in this global society also disconnects our relationship with nature. Microscopic elements such as diatoms, which have the ability to photosynthesize and keep our oceans healthy, are present in many of my works.

     The spiritual connections that our natural surroundings provide are explored in the Archaea series. The Archaea are some of the earliest life forms on Earth. The fascinating aspect of Archaea is their relationship to the beginnings of life, and their ability to help sustain our natural environment: thermophilic algae may help cut greenhouse gases and Archaea may be used to help in cleaning up contaminated sites like petroleum spills.  NASA researches extremophiles to get clues about early life forms in places in the universe like Mars, Io, Europa, and Enceladus. By identifying locations with similar physical properties to the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, scientists search out the beginnings of life elsewhere in the universe.




Updated 29 October 2010. Comments to the Library Web Team.

exhibits unca Ramsey Library