Exhibit Reveals Raw Nature as Art

CSM’s Hungerford Gallery displays 3-D Pieces Created from ‘Natural’ Resources

Marcia Wolfson Ray's artwork will be displayed in the Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery in the Fine Arts (FA) building on College of Southern Maryland's La Plata Campus through Nov. 6.

For the past 21 years, Ray has looked to nature for both the ideas for her work and the materials. She hopes to convey her own relationship with the natural world through her work, taking advantage of the light, temperature and season. The sun, rain, and snow all manifest their influences on the pieces.

She uses dog fennel, phragmites, hibiscus, pine bark, bamboo and marsh elder in the construction of her sculptures. After the growing season is over, mainly in autumn, winter and early spring, Ray scours the fields and marshes of the eastern shore of Maryland for material for her pieces. As she works, Ray allows the piece to evolve from her original idea to its final form, an evolution that keeps her passionate about the project.

Ray grew up in Baltimore but has always been drawn to nature. Her sculptures help her to express her two passions at once: art and nature. Ray says about her art that “while it looks fragile…it has a surprising strength and durability.” Though she leaves most of her materials in the state she finds them, she often uses walnut ink to create a darker brown color and will coat her works to help them stay together. Ray gets inspiration from her property in South Dorchester and from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

CSM student Miguel Racho, of Waldorf, who intends to major in architecture, is especially inspired by Ray's work because he enjoys geometric and exact details, which are prevalent in Ray's art.

Ray received her fine arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art and works as an elementary school teacher.

The gallery is at the La Plata Campus, Fine Arts Center and is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Calendar Listing

CSM Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery: Marcia Wolfson Ray “In Translation.” Oct. 12 to Nov. 6. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Fine Arts (FA) Building, Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Marcia Wolfson Ray's uses materials she collects from the fields and marshes of Maryland's Eastern Shore to create sculptures of natural geography. Many of her pieces were constructed outdoors and although they appear to be delicate or fragile they have a strength and durability that withstands years of moving from place to place. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828, http://www.csmd.edu/Arts/HungerfordGallery.html.

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