Renee with her prize winning sculpture


Dr. Renee Rhodes, clinical psychologist/ sculptor  extraordinaire, sent the following email to me in response to the recent posts about the SCS Conference at Yale:



Great Blog. Tells the story nicely, but hard to capture the shift in the room... That shift I felt within my being of everyone in the room becoming still... out of their heads and into the phenomenologically Felt Sense of embodiment and experience.

They got what you were saying about experiencing the self and other.

You did with the room what you were teaching!!!!!!!

It was brilliant and hard to describe. You had to have been there. But I was and it was real.

Magic really.

Renee is curating an extraordinary show in New London, CT on July 3 called "Gaia's lament". Here is the press release for the show:

Publicity Contact: Susan Cornell
Phone: (860) 663-3095
Hygienic Galleries & Art Park
79 Bank Street
New London, CT
When:  July 3, 2015 – August 4, 2015
Regular Gallery hours:
Tues-Thurs: 11-3 pm
Fri-Sat: 11-6 pm
Sun: noon-3 pm
Opening Reception:  Friday, July 3 from 7-11 pm
Special Events:  Poetry Reading on Thursday, July 16 at 6 pm; “Heal this Land” Dance Performance  on Sunday, July 19 at 4pm
Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry 
at Hygienic Galleries & Art Park
on view from July 3 to August 4, 2015

In classical Greek mythology, Gaia is the primal Mother Goddess; creator and giver of birth to the Earth and all the Universe.  Inspired by the contributions of artists and performers all around the world who have heard and responded to the cry of the Earth arising from the unprecedented crisis of global climate change, Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry is the brainchild of sculptor Renee Rhodes of Killingworth.  For more than a year, painters, sculptors, installation artists, choreographers, dancers, and poets have been meeting to plan this major exhibition combined with a series of performances on opening night and through July.  The exhibit and performances are designed to coincide with SailFest when up to 100,000 visitors come to New London.

As part of its educational mission, Hygienic Art Galleries has made its exhibition space and courtyard performance space available so visitors can learn more about the effects of global climate change while experiencing the various visual and performance art.

All of the works created for, and displayed or performed during Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry, are connected with the beauty and vulnerability of our planet and focus on some aspect of eight major impacts of climate change: higher temperatures; changing landscapes; wildlife at risk; rising seas; frequent, severe and widespread floods, droughts and forest fires; more intense and more frequent storms and hurricanes; more heat-related illness and disease; starvation and economic losses, and the probable political and social upheavals that will be the consequence of all of the above.

Artists involved include two sculptors: Renee Rhodes, who will display three major new bronze sculptures from her Tree Spirit Series, works which embody the voices of trees, and Serena Bates of Westerly whose new sculpture, “A Murder of Crows,” is an allegorical representation of how the very nature we are impacting, will eventually take over in order to survive. Two photographers, Claudia Van Nes of Chester, and Sue Connolly of New London, will be exhibiting.  Painters include Rosemary Cotnoir of Essex, a artist whose major body of work depicts the beauty and majesty of trees; Linda Talerico of Stonington, who is imagining Gaia herself in her art, and Gray Jacobik of Deep River, an encaustic artist who focuses on images of the Earth from space. Ruth Berman and Genevieve Lavo are collaborating on a painting.

Carol Young of Essex, a sculptor, painter and playwright, has created (among other works) an installation that is a large sculptural assemblage made of recycled materials, including a giant Tinker Toy and an approximate 8-foot tall robot.  To symbolize species endangerment and extinction, renowned painter Del-Bourree Bach of Mystic, is contributing a large portrait of a whale and another extraordinary painting, “Some Enchanting Evening” of an osprey.

“Planetary” is a provocative and breathtaking wake-up call, a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. Due to the generosity of our donors, this groundbreaking film will be shown on continuous loop during the exhibition.   Like the artists and performers associated with Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry, members of the Planetary Collective, who made the film, are “dedicated to worldview interruption” and “believe passionately in the power of creative work to change perspectives, lives, and ultimately the planet.”


Friday evening, July 3, 7:00-11:00, will be memorable and a truly exceptional opening.  In Hygienic’s Art Park, an original dance choreographed by Buoy Dance Company of Brooklyn, NY, comprised of Viva Soudan and Bailey Nolan, with the addition of two experienced dancers of the Wild Angels Collective, will be performed. This work will incorporate the amazing dancing of young hiphop performers Todd Belcher, Michael Okoasia and D’Andrea Knox. Todd is a native New Londoner, a self-taught dancer who has appeared in three of the Youth Talent Shows at The Garde Arts Center.  D’Andrea Knox, an ECSU student, is the director and choreographer of Dance in Fusion of New London Country and teaches dances in the Norwich public schools.  Michael Okoasia, a self-taught dancer who has auditioned for such events as “So You Think You Can Dance,” wowed the judges at his audition for the New London Talent show by performing an African hiphop piece he choreographed himself.  Buoy’s raw emotion juxtaposed with choreography both delicate and powerful, will leave the audience dancing at the bottom of the ocean.

Joanie DiMartino will present a multi-media poem on the endangerment of whales from both a historical and contemporary perspective, accompanied by whale vocalizations.  This poem, in collaboration with a painting by Del Bouree-Bach, will appear in her upcoming collection, Wood to Skin, which features the 19th-century whaling industry, highlighting the career of the whaling ship the Charles W. Morgan, for which she was a 38th Voyager.

Marya Ursin’s and Dan Potter’s Mystic Paper Beasts, from The Dragon’s Egg, dressed as natural elements of the Earth, will be circulating throughout the gala opening.

Special Event: Gaia’s Lament Poetry Reading, Thursday, July 16.  Nibbles, wine & conversation beginning at 6 pm; reading at 7 pm featuring poets Joanie DiMartino, Melanie Greenhouse, Gray Jacobik, Lana Orphanides, Jude Rittenhouse, Kate Rushkin, Lisa Starr, Rhonda Ward and Christie Max Williams.

As part of Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry, there will be a second evening of dance performances by New London-based dancers called “Heal This Land” on Sunday, July 19 at 4pm. Check Hygienic’s website for details.

Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry is managed by the staff of Hygienic Art Galleries, and funded, in large part, by the Willow Creek Foundation of Cecilton, Maryland, whose mission is to fund educational, arts and other 501c3 organizations. Marion, Massachusetts.  Through a generous donation, Walter and Victoria Sivigny of Meriden have made the showing of “Planetary” possible.

Please check Hygienic’s website at and the Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry Facebook page for the most up to date information on events.

For further information contact:
Gray Jacobik