Each bird, similar to each human, has different instincts. Each species is instinctively born with “nest-building blueprints” to build their nests, their homes, their safety. A lot can be learned from birds as they forage the world around them, piece by piece, to build their homes.
Hardy’s- The Art of Jewelry, located in the ViBe Creative District, opens Sticks & Stones, an exhibit interweaving nature, art and jewelry. Adding to the exhibit, Hardy’s is building a human-sized community nest where Hampton Roads’ locals find small stick invitations throughout the neighborhood and bring them together to the large nest – large enough for several people to comfortably sit in.
How did this all begin? Just as nests begin: connecting individual pieces from various backgrounds, experiences, cities and states, and interweaving them together.
Thirteen years ago, artist Charlotte Heath and her husband Gary Cochran packed their bags to leave Pittsburgh. They knew exactly what they wanted: a small coastal town to open a quaint business.
Heath and Cochran found what they were looking for in the small port of Onancock, Virginia, and opened The Charlotte Hotel. Inspired by her new environment, Heath found herself walking through nature and creating art in her home studio while running their bed and breakfast. Their fine dining restaurant serves dinner and breakfast five days a week, focusing on local foods.
Heath’s recent fascination with nests brought her together with Betsy Hardy as they sat chatting about nature’s presence in art.
Hardy’s vision of art, nature and jewelry led to commissioning Andrea Williams, a noted metalsmith from Maine, to react to Heath’s paintings of nests. The result is Williams’ intricate wearable art made of undisturbed products from the earth.
Sticks & Stones features the paintings by Heath and jewelry by Williams, all inspired by the nests of six North American birds: the Song Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, American Robin, Eastern Phoebe, Black-capped Chickadee and the Blue Jay.
This exhibit shows the intricacies of nature and the unique traits each species brings to gathering, collecting and building nests.
A show within a show has emerged. Inspired by Patrick Dougherty and Stickwork at The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Hardy engaged a local Landscape Architect, Emily Rothrock. As a designer who creates place for people, Rothrock says, “Placemaking provides opportunities for interaction with our surroundings.” Local artist Jasmine Fountain joined the conversation. Seeking a way to combine art and place, the three created the human nest.
With paintings, wearable art, the actual Eastern Shore nests and the human-sized nest, Hardy hopes to emphasize nature’s presence in our lives and the importance of home for all.
Sticks & Stones compliments the Stickwork exhibit at The Hermitage Museum and Gardens featuring internationally-renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. The Sticks & Stones Opening is October 27, 2016, 4-8 PM. It is open to the public. 600 22nd Street in VB. #hardysnests
The community nest is being built by Betsy Hardy, gemologist and owner of Hardy’s – The Art of Jewelry, Emily Rothrock, Landscape Architect and Horticulturist at WPL, Jasmine Fountain, local artist and art educator at Strawbridge Elementary, and Sheena Jeffers, Arts Integration Director for Young Audiences Arts for Learning Virginia.