Artist Uses Natural Materials to Create Art

Artist Uses Natural Materials to Create Art

Botanical Fish Sculptures by Rita Basom are on display at the Community Fine Arts Center this summer. Combining her love of gardening and creating art, Basom has created a school of whimsical fish.

ROCK SPRINGS — The Community Fine Arts Center is exhibiting a collection of sculptural fish created by former Wyoming Arts Council director Rita Basom. Thirteen individual designs are included in “Botanical Fish Sculptures” and are created with natural organic materials. The exhibit is available to see in the case at the entrance from the library through the summer.

“As a retired ‘recovering Arts Administrator’ I began doing things I didn’t have time for when working full time and raising a family,” said Basom. “I planted an outdoor garden for the first time, then I did a much needed pruning of the plants in my sunroom where I ended up with long strands of vines. It seemed such a shame to just throw them away, so I started experimenting to see what I could make from them.

“As flowers began to bloom outdoors I incorporated them into my creations. By trial and error I learned which flowers, stems, and other items would hold up as they dried. It was fun to find and include additional things from nature in my artwork.”

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Basom entered two of her pieces in a Senior Art Exhibit at the Laramie County Library and placed third in the Sculpture category. Encouraged by the juror of that show and by her friends, Basom began to create more designs. She joined the Cheyenne Artist Guild which gave her the opportunity to exhibit pieces in their gallery, and to get encouragement from other guild members. She also was included in a group exhibit at Clay Paper Scissors Gallery in Cheyenne and sold several of these unique fish.

“I don’t consider myself to be a professional artist,” Basom said. “For me, this is just a way to be creative, and to use things from nature in a different way. I never know what a piece will look like until it is finished. Each pieces just sort of “evolves” as different materials are added. I have tried to make other things, but always come back to the whimsical fish, as this medium just seems to lead me there.”

For more information, call or visit the Community Fine Arts Center, 400 C Street in Rock Springs, 307-362-6212. The center’s hours are Monday through Thursday 10 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday noon to 5 p.m.