The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the installation, “The Kiss of Life: For the Love of Water,” through April 25 in the Media Room at the Newport Visual Arts Center – although due to statewide bans in place to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Newport Visual Arts Center has closed temporarily, and the exhibition is on hold until the center is open again. The installation will include visual imagery by Graece Gabriel, a photographic artist, and instrumental audio by Walking Bird/Mark Beckwith.
“I’ve added a subtitle to the 15-minute installation,” says Graece Gabriel of Newport. “I think of it as ‘peering through liquid to the soul of the natural world, one droplet at a time.” Many of the images in the 15-minute installation will be drawn from Gabriel’s collection of macro photographs depicting water in constant motion.
“For me, playing music is a meditation. For others it is a calming experience,” says Mark Beckwith. “My music has been described as ‘organic,’ ‘earthy,’ ‘healing’ and ‘soulful,’ to name a few. What it boils down to is that I play what the muses of the universe dictate. Many people have purchased my music with the intent to use it in their massage boutiques or in their place of meditation.”
Gabriel is known for her macro photos of wet flowers and unusual perspectives on the sea and the surrounding vistas of the Oregon coast. Her work was recently exhibited in the 2020 Mayors’ Show at the VAC and at the Angst Gallery in Vancouver, Washington. In 2019, she also received a 3rd place award from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs as part of the group’s monochrome invitational.
Mark Beckwith plays and composes music for the Native American style flute. He has recorded various albums using the moniker Walking Bird/Mark Beckwith under the label Kima Upland Productions. For the past several years, Beckwith, a certified music practitioner from Newport, has been playing Native American-style wooden flutes in the homes of many hospice patients. Beckwith acts as a compassionate presence in the room, observing patients and specially tailoring his music as patients respond.
The Media Room is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm. “The Kiss of Life: For the Love of Water” installation will be projected on a loop during regular hours.