NATURE’S UNDERDOGS: Maurer’s artistic work highlights marginalized ecosystems

Lauren Fisher

Joe Maurer's work will be on display June 28 through Aug. 24 at the Volume One Gallery. The show, titled “Paintings From Nature,” features paintings of Midwest species from endangered ecosystems. “I feel our native ecosystems are exciting and they suffer from neglect,” Maurer said. “They’re marginalized.” Maurer, a local artist, landscape architect, and prairie enthusiast, has designed several local works of outdoor art, including the new picnic pavilion at Beaver Creek Reserve and the Forest Street Pavilion in Eau Claire. One of his early inspirations was Walt Whitman, whose poems, Maurer says, take note of the underdogs in nature. The paintings Maurer produces are a combination of his own feelings and the physical process of painting; he doesn’t try to recreate a scene he observes exactly, but rather infuses it with his own emotion, resulting in bold, impressionistic works. “I paint little stories about the tiny places I care about,” he said. An artist reception will be held from 6:30-8:30pm on Friday, June 28, in the Volume One Gallery. Smaller oil studies and prints will be available for purchase at the event. View more of Maurer’s works at josephabbottmaurer.com.

Joe Maurer: From Nature • June 28-Aug. 4 • Reception Friday June 28, 6:30pm • The Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire • FREE • All Ages