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Spiritual, poetic works of art on display at Gammage


December 20, 2011

Photographs by artist, writer and poet Heather Kirk and ultrachrome inks on canvas by Cooper Downs, both of Scottsdale, will be on display at ASU Gammage, Jan. 5-Feb. 6.

Kirk, a Chicago native, currently is working on a new series of wild beaches in black and white after she spent eight months living and working in the Dominican Republic.

She has shown her art at the Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts in Steamboat Springs, Colo., the de Young Gallery in San Francisco and the Dana Gallery in Montana, among other places.

At Gammage, she will exhibit two series, “Flowers on Black” and “Forgotten Landscapes.”

Kirk’s writing has been published in “Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul,” “The Bible Advocate” and “Inglis House Anthology of Disabilities,” and her book of poetry, “We…a spirit seeking harmony for a world that’s out of sync,” takes the reader on a faith journey from pain and loss to hope and purpose.

Downs received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from ASU, with a minor in art. He practiced architecture for many years, and during his career was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, which impaired his hearing.

He says, “It was during this revelation that my other senses fully awakened and I found myself focusing solely on my art. I began to express the spirit of nature, life and beauty through my work. My inability to hear outside noises led me to focus on my inner self and hear the voice of God’s spirit, guiding me to create specific images.”

Downs adds that “each giclee canvas painting is a message received, spiritually, then created with the intention of healing others whose souls I could connect with through my art.”

Exhibit hours at ASU Gammage are 1 to 4 p.m., Mondays or by appointment by calling 480-965-6912. Due to rehearsals, event set-up, performances, special events and holidays, it is advisable to call 480-965-6912 or 480- 965-0458 to ensure viewing hours, since they are subject to cancellation without notice.

Visitor parking is available at meters around the perimeter of ASU Gammage. Entrance is through the East Lobby Doors at the Box Office. For more information call 480-965-6912.