Holler’s “Murmurations” Featured at Ah Haa Gala

Holler’s “Murmurations” Featured at Ah Haa Gala

brucie 16 copyDepending on your age and stage in life and the way things have been going lately, this time of year, a time of assessment, is not necessarily easy.

Take refuge in art for the start of the New Year.

Attend the Ah Haa School for the Arts‘ annual New Year’s Eve Gala, December 31, 6 – 10 p.m., an elegant sit-down dinner (prepared by one of Telluride’s top chefs, Eliza Gavin of 221 South Oak), theatrical vignettes performed by Telluride Theatre, and featuring the work of two uniquely talented artists: photographer and filmmaker Ben Knight and painter Brucie Holler.

Why support art?

There is no place more transporting and ultimately comforting to think about the inevitability of life’s forward motion then a museum or, in this case, a gallery filled with art. Art captures time and motion, making it easy to contemplate the complexity of both. In the process of reflecting, the noise in your head disappears.


Brucie’s Holler’s “Murmurationsexplained:

Brucie Holler’s new series entitled “Murmurations” forces us to experience time and motion with a particular acuity, deepening our emotional understanding of the wonder of nature, ours and that of our surroundings. Collectively “Murmurations” functions, as any great work of art, like a mandala. In fact, the inspiration behind the work hints at universal principles yet to be explained.

A murmuration is defined as an “act or instance of murmuring of a flock of starlings.” And flocking starlings are one of nature’s most extraordinary sights, hundreds, even thousands of birds moving as one entity, a kind of synchronized action that puts the Rockettes to shame. (Videos of same have gone viral.)

“Murmurations” captures a bird ballet – and the many layers of that gorgeous onion.

According to one source, when scientists applied computational modeling to the phenomenon, the patterns revealed less from biology than from cutting-edge physics.

“Starling flocks, it turns out, are best described with equations of “critical transition,” systems that are poised to tip, to be almost instantly and completely transformed, like metals becoming magnetized or liquid turning to gas.”

Proteins and neurons appear to operate the same way.

“Over the years, I noticed flocks of birds creating these formations in the sky and was drawn to them to the point of pulling my car over, mouth agape, reveling in the marvelousness of the wonder I was witnessing,” explained Brucie. “My husband Greg and I called them ‘bird clouds.’ Representations of these formations first made an appearance in a body of work I called ‘Big Sky.’ But it wasn’t until I heard the word ‘mumuration’ that I really got hooked. For the past 10 years, painting almost completely non-representationally, I have had two constant sources of inspiration: the natural world and language. Whether it was a line from a poem or a haiku, language has proven to be a very compelling point of departure. To have both of my fascinations come together in one breathtaking event was irresistible. I had to freeze the happening for all time. I had to make art.”

Brucie took two years to completeMurmurations.”

“Looking back, I see very clearly how the body of work evolved. How each painting changed and began to reflect not so much what I had witnessed, but my reaction to it. My subject, these starlings in motion, became more internalized, perhaps even more abstracted, less and less literal.” 

Brucie’s series is mixed media on paper with collaged elements. To create the hypnotic body of work, she used Okawara paper collaged to Rives BFK and Arches En-Tout-Cas with gesso, sumi ink, graphite, conte, and charcoal.


About Brucie Holler:

Brucie Holler, a South Carolina native, received a BA in painting from Florida State University. She did graduate work at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore before moving to Telluride, Colorado, where she worked for five years, teaching and serving as Director of Exhibitions at Ah Haa.

Brucie studied with a variety of internationally known artists, among them, Richard Smith, Mario Martinez, and Truman Lowe. Galleries in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Colorado have shown her work. Brucie moved back to South Carolina in 1997, where she maintains a studio.

“As a non-representational painter, I am interested in exploring the way we walk through our lives, experiencing day-to-day moments, absorbing beauty, responding through nature or language, and then, for me, translating those experiences into an authentic, personal, and  transcendent work of art. What drives me as a painter is a desire to create moments of contemplation and insight through art.”


How to Gala:

Tickets for the Ah Haa School’s New Year’s Eve Gala include dinner, a full bar, and a selection of wine.

For more information and tickets, please call Kathleen Cole at 970-728-3886 or e-mail her at: kathleen@ahhaa.org


To preview Brucie Holler’s Murmurations, watch Clint Viebrock’s video.

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