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October 28, 2008
By Jon Fortenbury
Mixing art and philosophy is nothing new. This classic combination is displayed at “Eco-Sophia: The Artist of Life,” an art exhibition going on until Nov.7 in the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Inspired by an essay written in 1989 by Wolfgang Schirmacher about living wisely and not falling into the belief that nature, humans and technology are at odds, “Eco-Sophia: The Artist of Life” features artwork about the relationships between the environment, humans and technology.
“What I wanted to do was set up a show that would bring philosophers and artists together to talk about this and where we’re at now,” said Marjorie Vecchio, curator and director of the exhibition.
With “Eco” meaning house and “Sophia” meaning wisdom, both the essay and exhibition reflect how the inner self exists as the best location for wisdom. “The Artist of Life” means to treat life like an art project, which puts responsibility back on the individual to take control of their life, according to Vecchio.
“People should live life artfully,” Vecchio said. “You don’t have to be an artist to do that. That means you live life dynamically, creatively and interactively.”
Besides reasons such as gaining new philosophical insights and viewing original art, Vecchio also thinks a reason to go to the exhibition exists in the question “why not?”
“How can you not want to go see art?” Vecchio asked.
The art exhibition features artists from all over the world, who take several different approaches to this philosophy, ranging from metaphorical to humorous. The artists in the exhibition include Allora & Calzadilla, Ann Hamilton, Lynn Richardson, Kahn & Selesnick, Andrea Polli and Paul Stout.