Art comes naturally

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

Inspired by nature, Mollie Oblinger uses contrasting elements of wood, felt, plastic, foam and wire to sculpt her art.

Her artwork will be displayed starting Friday in Eastern New Mexico University’s Golden Library.

“My work is purposefully ambiguous so it has multiple interpretation for people,” Oblinger said of her artistic inspiration. “I’m working a lot with exploring the natural world. I’m really interested in what’s beneath us.”

Her work is influenced by such things as the homes or colonies built by ants, termites and other bugs, she said. Using manmade materials, she is able to capture the living world beneath the surface, she said.

“There’s all these types of levels that I’m interested in,” Oblinger said.

Traveling extensively in the United States, Oblinger sees each new location as a chance to incorporate the surroundings into her artwork. For example, while she was in Roswell, her pieces bore the more neutral colors of the area. Since moving to Portales, more vibrant colors have become a part of her artwork, she said.

“It’s always really fascinating to get somewhere new and see new things,” Oblinger said. “Right know, the horizon line of New Mexico is also having a strong impact on my work.”

Before coming to Portales, Oblinger was involved in the artist-in-residence program in Roswell. During this time, she showed her work in a show during 2006, she said.

Most of the pieces in the show were created after Oblinger moved to Portales in August. A select few works were carried over from her Roswell show, Oblinger said.

“Ms. Oblinger’s objects are not wholly abstract, but seem to represent actual objects from a world as yet undiscovered,” said Stephen Fleming, director, artist-in-residence program.

At a glance

• What: Mollie Oblinger Art Exhibit

• When: Friday to March 14

Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to midnight

Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday: Noon to midnight

• Where: Runnels Gallery, located inside the Golden Library on the Eastern New Mexico University Campus

•  An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Food and drinks will be served and tours of the exhibit will be offered by the artist Mollie Oblinger.