Embracing Nature

Mark S. Conti, Marie Bender, and Robert Reinhardt bring together their diverse perspectives to celebrate the natural world through photography, watercolor, and oil paintings. Through realistic renderings of everyday objects in unnatural spaces, distorted landscapes, and textured photography, Embracing Nature invites us to interpret the environment through a lens of admiration, memory, and place.

Mark S. Conti’s photography exposes the relationships of form, texture and content that are hidden in plain sight in the observable world. By framing what is seen and unseen, he reveals the tension, complexity and ultimate beauty of the natural world. Conti’s images invite viewers to reexamine what is before them as if seeing it for the first time. Marie Bender’s meticulous still life paintings query the familiar and seek out the magic in the mundane. Her “magic realism” paintings reignite a sense of awe and wonder and encourage viewers to see the extraordinary beauty of ordinary things. By focusing on commonplace things that are often overlooked, Marie Bender celebrates the everyday every day. Robert Reinhardt’s watercolor paintings form new structural relationships between the land and the sky. Inspired by his travels to Scotland and Arizona, he manipulates the two different landscapes to create his own worlds. Reinhardt combines his on location visual experiences with site-specific color studies to create unreal environments that pretend to be real. 

Whether through selection, imagination or distortion; Mark S. Conti, Marie Bender, and Robert Reinhardt’s intimate displays of the natural world offer viewers a chance to recognize the beauty in things which are at risk of being overlooked.


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