Arts & Culture

PBSC art exhibit features bats to encourage environmental conservation

An exhibit titled “Misunderstood” by visual artist Diane Arrieta (also known by her artist name Birds are Nice) will be on display at Palm Beach State College’s Art Gallery at Eissey Campus beginning Sept. 15.

The exhibition deals with the plight of animals, ecosystems and their struggle with humans. It runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 16, with the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 15. Both the reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The centerpiece of the show will be a mannequin dressed as batman, along with 50 flying cloth bats hand sewn from felt.

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Arrieta’s piece titled “Oh deer,” was painted this year. It is acrylic and cut vinyl on a wood panel with wire trees. Its dimensions are 48x48x6 and it references the endangered Florida Key deer—for which only 600 to 800 remain.

“Just like this fictional bat, these small mammalian species are often thought of as evil and many irrational fears and false perceptions have evolved over time,” said Arrieta, who works in South Florida. “The exhibit highlights the need for conservation of the many bat species such as the Chiroptera, which play a very beneficial role in maintaining a healthy planet. Using batman as a symbol, this work eludes to the plight of the human race and the struggle with their relationship to the environment.”

The show also highlights endangered species and the environmental and social issues surrounding their well-being. The work is based on the misconceptions and misunderstanding of these animals. Many of the items on display are made out of acrylic, rubber and vinyl.

The Pennsylvania native utilizes various printmaking techniques with cut vinyl, illustration, sculpture and animation. Her work has a distinct urban feel, with a style rooted in the comic book genre, but also has strong influences from artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Daisy Youngblood. Currently, her artwork focuses on the environment and contemporary social issues.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The Art Gallery at Eissey Campus is located in the first floor of the BB building, 3160 PGA Blvd. For more information, call the gallery at 561-207-5015.

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