Long Island artist creates ‘Environments’ with bits of nature

Barbara Roux (right) installs her wall piece, "Hills and Hollows," at Hofstra's Emily Lowe Gallery (Photo courtesy of the Hofstra University Museum)

The natural beauty of Long Island’s North Shore makes it some of the most desirable land in the country. The area’s mystique has grown thanks in part to the influential people who have made it their home—from famous family such as the Vanderbilts and Roosevelts, to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fictional millionaire, the “Great” Jay Gatsby.

Drawing both inspiration and materials from the coves and forests surrounding her home on the North Shore, Barbara Roux, a combined-media artist, poet and active conservationist, opened an exhibit Feb. 7 at Hofstra’s Emily Lowe Gallery entitled “Environments.”

As one of her trademarks, Roux uses natural materials as the medium to create her sculptures; she does not attempt to disguise the elements.

“I always want people to be conscious of the environment as I have for decades,” Roux said. “I do not do this work to sell it in a commercial venue nor do I expect people to consider it traditional art.”

Roux’s exhibition also includes drawings, photographs and poetry.

Barbara Roux (right) installs her wall piece, "Hills and Hollows," at Hofstra's Emily Lowe Gallery (Photo courtesy of the Hofstra University Museum)

Barbara Roux (right) installs her wall piece, "Hills and Hollows," at Hofstra's Emily Lowe Gallery (Photo courtesy of the Hofstra University Museum)

“I have a need to translate to an audience my respect and fascination for the mystery and intelligence inherent in wild niches and the individual lives that inhabit these places,” she said. “I communicate this through a layering of experience and mediums like we experience in real life.”

Roux said she credits her inspiration to “nature in change and under stress.” She has also looked to other artists for inspiration.

“My respect often goes back to true ecology-based artist like Alan Sonfist and early painters of the Hudson River School such as Thomas Cole,” she said. “They were visionaries.”

Of her work showing at the Emily Lowe Gallery, Roux displayed her photo “Fallen Moon” at Huntington’s Heckscher Museum exhibit, “Earth Matters,” in fall 2011. Roux’s favorite piece from her Hofstra exhibit, “Hills and Hollows,” was revealed when it was just a work in progress at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October 2010.

In addition to her current exhibit at Hofstra, Roux finished a show at the Everhart Museum in Scranton, Penn., in 2011. She has another exhibit showing at the Heckscher Museum ending this April.

Her projects have also been shown in local museums, galleries and universities including solo exhibitions at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Conn., the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Conn., the Islip Art Museum and the C.U.N.Y. Queens College Art Center.

“Environments” runs through April 5. The exhibit is opened Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.