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‘Furious Garden’ reimagines nature through painting and sculpture

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Connor Woken
Staff Writer

The Claremont Museum of Art’s current art exhibition, “Furious Garden,” features paintings from artists Karen Kitchel and Deena Capparelli, and sculptures by C.J. Jilek.

The idea behind this exhibition was for the three artists to find new pathways and different relationships between landscape and occupants. 

“The three artists and I started talking about this show – obviously their artwork has a theme, connecting them,” said Rebecca Hamm, the event organizer.

Hamm had originally planned to show only Capparelli’s art but it ultimately evolved to include the others.

“Furious Garden,” feels like taking a stroll through a real garden as the ceramic statues and paintings look like big bright plants in nature.

Every one of Cappparelli’s paintings has bold colors, and Jilek’s sculptures showcased plants in different shapes.

The bold colors reflect off each of the paintings and ceramic pieces. 

One specific painting, “Three Sisters” by Kitchel, covered an entire wall space. It was painted with oils with a unique use of burlap fabric. Kitchel completed the piece in 2020.

Capparelli showcased 11 different oil paintings, all of which included flowers or trees with bright backgrounds.

Her paintings display the shift between the foreground and the background. 

The detail of Jilek’s sculptures shined through the colors and the different shapes of the plants. Her art includes a variety of ceramic sculptures of plants that would most likely only exist in a tropical jungle. 

“She uses the finest porcelain to build flowers and pods that appear both alien and familiar… Jilek’s tiny sculptures are finely crafted, strangely suggestive, and, in the end, exquisitely beautiful,” said Betty Ann Brown, the artist curator.

“I have never been to a limited exhibition with this much color and enthusiasm in the paintings. This is a great opportunity for myself to learn more about art and find interests in new artists,” Nicholas Tuzzolino, a visitor at the exhibition, said.

“Furious Garden” is open and free to the public at the Claremont Museum of Art from noon to 4 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 27. 

Connor Woken can be reached at

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