BAYarts' juried exhibition Best of Show goes to 'Scream of the Butterflies'

Laura and Gary Dumm's "Scream of the Butterflies" makes a bold statement for environmental protection.

Married artists Laura and Gary Dumm took Best of Show in BAYarts' recent juried exhibition. The bold piece juxtaposes film villains against environmental concerns. Their acrylic piece, "Scream of the Butterflies," shows The Bride of Frankenstein (wearing a beauty queen sash reading "Ms. Monsanto") spraying a can of Raid into her mouth, as vividly orange monarch butterflies fly out of frame.

In describing the process, Laura Dumm makes it sound seamless. "First we discuss what subject we want to paint. Then Gary draws out the idea, we discuss it more and do a bit of fine tuning, then he transfers that to the canvas and hands it over to me to paint! It's great working together; we bring our different strengths and the finished painting shows that."

For those curious about the Monsanto beauty sash, it refers to a company known as being one of the worst offenders to the environment. A leading producer of genetically engineered seeds, Monsanto also creates and sells the troubling herbicide glyphosate, which is sold under the name of Roundup.

This herbicide called glyphosate that kills weeds, kills off the monarch butterflies food source of milkweed (a weed) which has been directly linked to a rapidly reduced monarch butterfly population. On a Star Talk podcast in July 2015, popular scientist Bill Nye cited the numbers as being "reduced over the last two decades by 90 percent."

This knowledge informs "Scream of the Butterflies" all the more, showing the thoughtful concern that this piece of art conveys.

Judged by Corrie Slawson and Susan Squires, the juried show received 140 artist applicants from all over Northeast Ohio. The exhibit is on display at BAYarts through the end of the month, Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Jessica Stockdale


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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.15.2016