Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion
Pieces by J. Leslie are on display at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday for this month’s “Illuminations” exhibition.

Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion Pieces by J. Leslie are on display at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday for this month’s “Illuminations” exhibition.

Exhibition brings the natural world inside

The Illuminations opening reception will be on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kenai Art Center.

The Kenai Art Center is opening a new exhibit for the month of August that features various pieces paying tribute to the artists’ adoration of the natural world.

The group show is called “Illuminations,” and features metalwork and sculptures by Cincinnati-based artist Kate Demske and local Kenai artist Heather Floyd, as well as paintings from Seward’s J. Leslie.

The artwork contains bright colors and organic subjects, and ranges from stained glass-esque paintings to three-dimensional framed plants.

Marion Nelson, president of the Peninsula Art Guild, said she is impressed by the show.

“… This work is just so fluid, so marvelous,” she said about Demske’s metalwork.

The metalwork in the exhibition oversteps the parameters of the geometric frames. The plants spill out over the borders of the frames they’re in, casting shadows on the wall.

“It just has that wonderful drape to it as well as enough change in color here to add some spark to these pieces,” Nelson said. “They know you’re going to have shadows at work and that’s going to be part of the composition.”

Along with the wall art, Floyd has created free-standing metal figures of flowers sprouting around grass for the exhibition, which Nelson said can be used as art both for the garden and on the interior of a home.

“I have some of her work that is garden art,” Nelson said. “It’s great because the wind picks it up just enough to move it. I love the way she thinks about putting these shapes together.”

Leslie has painted large-scale outdoor scenes for the exhibition that almost resemble stained glass. His pieces feature sunsets, sunrises, and day and night skies.

“It’s sophisticated, but it’s fun,” Nelson said about Leslie’s work. “And his technique is unique to him … the subject matter and the arrangement of shapes and colors, each one is different.”

The show’s opening reception will be tonight from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kenai Art Center. Pieces will be available to view or purchase through the month. The event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at

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