‘Wild Edible Botanicals of Arizona’ exhibit slated at Phoenix gallery

"Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of Arizona" by J.W. Fike (submitted photo)

“Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of Arizona” by J.W. Fike (submitted photo)

Shade Projects has announced its next feature, the “Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of Arizona,” the solo exhibition of J.W. Fike in Phoenix’s Bokeh Gallery at the monOrchid.

This exhibition showcases photography of various local botanicals that gracefully float in a black expanse that reference traditional photograms and contact prints, as well as what he calls visions from the collective unconscious, according to a press release.

“I strive to create images that function as conduits in a uniquely charged space connecting art, science and spirituality,” said Mr. Fike in the release.

The artist takes a place-based approach to his photography examining his medium in relation to subject, audience and site.

“The artist effortlessly blends art and science resulting in an engaging and truly beautiful collection of work while presenting everyday local botanicals in a new and refreshing new light,” said Shade Projects Curator, Nicole Royse.

His images are carefully created by excavating the plant, arranging and photographing it in the studio, then digitally rendering the edible parts in color while the remaining can be read as contact prints. He has photographed over one hundred plants in seven different states with plans to survey the entire continental United State.

“My work actively engages the community by utilizing relevant contextual information, interdisciplinary research, and an elegant if slightly spellbinding aesthetic,” Mr. Fike said in the release. “I hope the resulting catalogue will serve as an archive for an uncertain ecological future, reliable guide for foraging, and contain meditative symbols in communion with philosophical, spiritual and ecological truths.”

Mr. Fike was formally trained receiving his Bachelors of Arts with Concentrations in Drawing and Photography from Auburn University continuing on to earn his Masters of Fine Art in Photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art under the tutelage of Carl Toth.

He has been busy exhibiting his work at galleries around the nation including Founders Hall Gallery at Soka University, Transition Gallery at Idaho State University, and others. Mr. Fike’s work is now apart of the permanent collection of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

His artwork has been featured in numerous publications both online and in print including F-Stop Magazine, the L.A. Times, and the Phoenix New Times. In addition to his art career, Mr. Fike is an Art Faculty Member and the Exhibitions Coordinator at Estrella Mountain College.

The monOrchid and Ms. Royse will host the Opening Reception for “Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of Arizona” from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, Oct. 7.

The Closing Reception will take place 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, and the evening will offer an intimate event with artist Mr. Fike and Ms. Royse.

“Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of Arizona” will be on display in Bokeh Gallery at the monOrchid, 214 E. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix, from Oct. 7-30. For more information visit monorchid.com.

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