A multimedia art installation will be open to view at the Newport Visual Arts Center starting this Friday, March 6, combining photographic imagery by Graece Gabriel with instrumental audio by Walking Bird/Mark Beckwith.

“The Kiss of Life: For the Love of Water” will have a public reception from 2 to 5 pm on Saturday March 14, with the artists talking about their work at 4:30 pm.

“I’ve added a subtitle to the installation,” said Gabriel. “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 capturing water in stop motion.

An Oregon Coast based-photographer, Gabriel has immersed herself in nature photography since late 2013. Raised in the Pacific Northwest in a family of naturalists and artists, she translates her eye and talent for composition into opulent nature shots ranging from abstract macros, to playful crow portraits, to waves exploding against the rocks.

“Fine-art photography should be psychoactive,” she said, “transporting the viewer, momentarily silencing the inner dialogue.”

Gabriel’s work was recently exhibited in the 2020 Mayors’ Show at the Newport Visual Arts Center and at the Angst Gallery in Vancouver, Washington. In 2019, she received a 3rd-place award from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs as part of the group’s monochrome invitational.

Mark Beckwith, a certified music practitioner from Newport, plays and composes music for the Native American-style flute. He has recorded various albums using the moniker Walking Bird/Mark Beckwith. For the past several years, Beckwith has been playing his flutes in the homes of many hospice patients. He acts as a compassionate presence in the room, observing patients and specially tailoring his music as patients respond.

“For me, playing music is a meditation,” he said. “For others, it is a calming experience. 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.”

“The Kiss of Life: For the Love of Water” will be on display through April 25 in the Media Room at the Newport Visual Arts Center, 777 NW Beach Drive, available to view noon to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

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