Check out the News Tribune‘s terrific review of “ETHNOBOTANY: An Artists’ Study of Plants” here. Show opens tomorrow at Seymour Conservatory at Wright Park with live music by Alex Tapia and Nate Dybevik (admission $3)! Exhibit runs through Oct. 12, 2014.

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Preview of “Unblemished” by Melissa Balch:

In this installation, a 4-pack of female breasts is packaged in grocery-store shrink wrap like a set of perfect apples. The work of ceramic artist Melissa Balch suggests that in a society obsessed with surfaces, both food and physiques are measured against a Golden Mean rarely attainable by natural means.

Agricultural societies have practiced selective breeding for thousands of years. In modern times, the quality criteria have shifted. Fruit once prized for its sweetness is now genetically manipulated to be more pleasing to the eye than the tongue. Is there a corollary between the quest for the perfect bite and the perfect body? Does society require ever more seductive “natural “foods in order to satisfy its cravings? Balch’s halo of identical porcelain breasts floats above a primitive idol carved by Clarence Deming (b. 1912 d. 2003; permanent collection of the Conservatory).



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