The tall and mighty pines of the Southeastern U.S. have long inspired many, from artists to musicians. Throughout history the longleaf pine ecosystem reigned supreme in the region; however, excessive timber harvesting and land development has greatly reduced the once lush forests.
After moving to Wilmington in 2013 to teach foundations, drawing and painting at UNCW, artist Anne Lindberg spread her roots locally and dug deep into the ecosystem’s lengthy history. Inspired by her research, next Thursday, January 15, Lindberg will unveil her exhibit of paintings and mixed-media drawings, called “In the Pines.”
Lindberg found her knack for artistry at a very young age. She began drawing by mimicking, actually.
“My first drawings were copies of my grandfather’s drawings,” Lindberg recounts. “My grandfather was an engineer by trade, but he was an artist, calligrapher and a woodworker in his spare time. He had a sketchbook with a few beautiful pencil drawings in it and a painting of a geisha in his basement that he had done after a business trip to Japan in the ‘70s.”
Lindberg went on to study painting at the University of Illinois, where she earned her BFA with high honors. She received her masters degree in art education in 2007, and subsequently garnered her MFA in visual art at Washington University in St. Louis in 2009.
Since teaching at UNCW, Lindberg has immersed herself in the local environment. She was captivated by the plight of the longleaf pine.
“The ecosystem has such an incredibly rich history and a hopeful future,” Lindberg tells. “I represented the forest, or the idea of the forest, through a mixture imagery that represents data, species distribution maps and other things. The title, ‘In the Pines,’ is the title of a traditional Southern Appalachian folk song from the 1870s that refers to the pine forest.”
She even enlisted the help of fellow UNCW professor Roger Shew, the resident expert on the ecosystem, and Janet Davidson, a historian at the Cape Fear Museum. After gathering research, she began conceptualizing how to bring it to life through drawings and oil paintings.
“For the big drawings in the exhibition, I started by coating a few large sheets of sturdy drawing paper with gouache paint, ink, graphite dust or some mixture of those to make an atmospheric or spatial ground,” Lindberg details. “Then, I drew onto and cut out bits from the other pieces of paper to create layers. I arranged and manipulated those layers until I could get a unified drawing.”
One of the featured oil paintings will be a 5-by-3-inch depiction of an semi-abstract pine tree. The piece charts new ground for Lindberg, as she typically creates on a smaller scale. “I think it turned out to be a beautiful piece because of the vibrant color and active mark-making,” she says.
In the Pines also will feature around 30 graphite drawings expertly rendered through precision and repetition. The simplistic work—which refer to species distribution maps that illuminate the diminishing spacial range of pine trees—will exude a sense of movement throughout the display.
A reception to usher in the opening will occur at from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Cultural Arts Building on UNCW’s campus. It will be followed by a lecture by Lindberg at 6:30 p.m.
In the Pines
Oil paintings and mixed-media drawings by Anne Lindberg
UNCW Cultural Arts Gallery
On display through February 19
Hours: Mon.-Fri., noon- 4 p.m.