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Winter exhibits at de Saisset Museum showcase connections between art and nature

Monday, Jan. 12, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 12, 2009 --- Just in time for Darwin Day -- held on or around Feb. 12 in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth -- two exhibitions opening at the de Saisset Museum showcase the relationship between art and the natural world. On view from Jan. 24 through March 20, Natural Blunders and Flora and Fauna from the Permanent Collection all include artwork that addresses the relationship between humans and nature.

Natural Blunders features the work of 17 artists who use nature as a departure point for compelling and resonant works of art. Pieces in the exhibition range from the living plants in Alastair Bolton's installation to Lauren Davies' dog-hair sculptures, to cicada exoskeletons in an installation by Cheryl Coon. In the exhibition, visitors will see a broad range of responses toward the environment -- from veneration to more critical responses to our traditionally adversarial relationship to nature.

"Ultimately, the works in Natural Blunders can be viewed as an artistic rebellion against what is essentially a world out of balance, according to Karen Kienzle, exhibition curator.

Flora and Fauna from the Permanent Collection is curated by faculty in SCU's biology department. Participating biology faculty and staff Elizabeth Dahlhoff, Janice Edgerly-Rooks, Gratia Rankin, Anja Rossinni, and Justen Whittall have brought their expertise in botany, entomology, and physiology to their selection of artworks from the Museum's permanent collection. The faculty/s accompanying labels offer their unique perspectives, allowing visitors a novel perspective on the exhibited artworks.

Related events: Saturday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m., de Saisset Museum Join the artists for a free reception to celebrate the winter exhibitions. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed Mondays.

About the de Saisset Museum The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay's free museum of art and history. The museum is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum supports SCU's goal of educating the whole person through diverse exhibitions, collections, and educational programs.

About Santa Clara University Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,685 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

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