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Something Infinitely Healing

7/12/17

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Rachel Carson wrote in her book, The Sense of Wander, "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, from day to night, winter to spring." In the tradition of 17th-18th century illustrative artists/scientists, local artist Alexandra Bowers captures the extraordinarily unique shapes and delicately fine details in the flora and fauna of our expansive desert environment. She literally draws inspiration from organic forms, transposing them into elegantly captivating visual images through the wood burning process.

Alexandra claims Scottsdale, Arizona as her hometown, growing up in a time when open space was treasured for its wildness and diversity. As a child, she remembers peering over the backyard wall across a wonderland of exotic, lush, and endlessly textured shapes of the Sonoran Desert. Alexandra credits her parents with helping her form the foundation of her attention to detail and a love for the natural world. She and her sister grew up as frequent visitors to area museums, traveled around the world and participated in a performing arts group known as "Do, Re, Mi." They enthusiastically performed, singing and dancing, in classic Broadway hits such as Annie and The Wizard of Oz. 

In 2012, Alexandra graduated from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, Tempe with her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Drawing. Soon after she became the first employee of a paint and wine bar, "The Brush Bar" in Old Town Scottsdale. It wasn't long before Alexandra had worked her way into the position of lead painting instructor, hiring and training new instructors; this launched her into a career as a full-time working artist. Today, Alexandra works from her Scottsdale studio located in the home where she grew up, stating, "It's been a nostalgic experience working in the home where I grew-up, it's comfortable and full of the most incredible natural light."

Simply put, Alexandra loves to draw. She is fascinated with the wood burning process for illustrating nature. In a very unique way, the heat of the iron ties her into the intensity of living in a desert. Her business "Iron Root" is where she decorates wooden utilitarian goods for home use, for example, wooden serving spoons, salad tongs, serving and carving boards. Alexandra is constantly exploring new applications for her art, 3D printing and fabric sculptures are a couple of options she has in mind for future creative pursuits. Her second passion is for research: “I consider myself a scientist in many ways. I investigate and research a ton when I create a piece of art. Part of this process is going 'off the beaten path' around Arizona, collecting specimens for observation and bringing them back to my studio for use in my work.”

Alexandra Bowers was one of three artists chosen this summer by the Tempe Center for the Arts for the "biomimicry artist in residence challenge." As part of the residency, she works two days a week in the studio space set up in the gallery at T.C.A., where she also has an exhibit of her work. Alexandra enjoys meeting gallery visitors, talking about her creative process and raising awareness of our natural environment. The residency runs through the 21st of July. She also opened an exhibit at Practical Art in Phoenix on July 7 called "Found Feathers." The show will run at Practical Art, www.practical-art.com, through July 31, and can be viewed during business hours.

To view a selection of Alexandra Bowers’ work, keep up with her exhibit schedule, or to purchase or commission a piece for yourself or as a gift, visit her website at www.alexandrabowersart.com or www.ironroot.co.

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.