Current Exhibitions

Forces of Nature

September 4 - January 9

Our environment can leave us in awe and the forces within nature inspire us to create. Regional artists working through many mediums come together to exhibit their interpretation of the the "Forces of Nature" in this unique juried art exhibition.

Open Fridays-Sundays, Noon-4pm
Closed Oct 23-24, Nov 26-28, Dec 24-Jan 2

Visit in person to vote for your Community Choice Award winner!

Meet the Judges

The visual art judges for this show were Dr. Andrew Svedlow, Professor of Art History at UNC and Chad Seelig, Adjunct Professor of Electronic Art at CSU. The judges met prior to the opening of the show to peruse the works and make their selections for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and honorable mention. See our winners above!

This exhibition also included poetry from regional poets. The 21 selected poems are on display alongside the visual art in the gallery, and they create a lovely narrative to go along with the strong imagery of the artwork. The poetry judges were Lynda La Rocca and Lorrie Wolfe and the winning poems can be read below.

  1. 1st Place: "The Vocabulary of Heat" by Amy Irish
  2. 2nd Place: "At the Window" by Kathleen Cain
  3. 3rd Place: "Desert Monsoon" by Anita Jepson-Gilbert

The Vocabulary of Heat

By Amy Irish


 I thought I knew pyrotechnics.

 Forbidden sparks catching in a state

 built of kindling. Fire so wild

 we destroy even more

 to contain the contagion.

 Inhaling smoke and cinders.

 And long-term water shortages

 drying all the way down the aquifer

 to our heat-stroked cells.


 But now extremes crack open the dictionary

 to words too hot to handle.

 Like pyrocumulonimbus,

 when a firestorm cloud is formed

 by thermals rising from fire.

 120 degrees flown in on a jet stream

 so the power cables melt

 and the roads buckle

 and the flesh of the trees ignites.


 Or like the anticyclone that forms,

 the sky a whirling dervish dome

 that traps hot air, intensified

 to the point of lightning.


 I know we are headed for megadrought,

 for the funerals of failed grids

 that die trying to keep us alive.

 I can stretch to grasp the feedback loop

 such heat creates, the greenhouse

 within a greenhouse effect.


 But then I learn of the cryo-seism,

 sounding deceptively frozen.

 In Alaska, glaciers melt so fast

 they are seismic events, ice shearing

 and falling to the tune of a 2.7 magnitude

 on a single day.


 With such words to learn, my mouth

 goes dry, starts to smolder.  

 I struggle with language smoking

 like ash and cinder,

 unable to choke it down.

 But I shouldn’t be forced

 to swallow such extremes—

 now is the time to spit

 them out, fight the fire

 with every fiber,

 before the whole world burns.