Artist Kristine Fisher’s show, titled “Signs,” debuted at Urbana’s recently opened flower shop Fleurish over the weekend. Combining floral themes and sign language, Fisher’s work utilized bold earth tones and images, resulting in pieces representing the sensuous qualities of nature.
Fisher’s was the first art show unveiled at Fleurish. Owner Sarah Compratt said she intends to use the space for art shows in the evenings every month or two. What better way to kick off the shows than with one that incorporates a floral theme?
Similar to Compratt, whose expertise in flowers stems from her family, Fisher is the product of a family long steeped in art — ranging from her great grandmothers to her brother. Fisher graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, specializing in watercolors. It was her dream to attend the Institute, and she was accepted a year early, she said.
“The Art Institute was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me in my life — to be around artists, and be focused on one thing,” Fisher said. “Besides, you had the museum right there too. We had secret staircases where you could get into the museum that only we knew about.”
Eleven pieces were on display at Fleurish, ranging from oil on canvas to acrylic on a cow skull. Fisher used a wide variety of media, including wood, metal and recycled windows. Her choice of earth tones, at once subdued and bold, combined with the images of flowers and hands signing different words like “live,” “dream” and “flower” to create a sense of harmony with nature. Fisher’s work is influenced by her self-professed idol Georgia O’Keefe, as evidenced in the painted cow skull. In homage to O’Keefe, Fisher has tattoos of cow skulls on her inner wrist and lower back.
Fleurish’s large space was conducive to Fisher’s show. Fresh cut flowers and simple, yet sophisticated, floral arrangements adorned the space, but allowed Fisher’s pieces to take center stage.
Soft acoustic music accompanied a delightful spread of hors d’oeuvres (including some made by Compratt’s mother), wine and champagne, all creating a warm environment in which patrons of the arts could mingle with one another and discuss Fisher’s work, as well as Fleurish’s recent opening. Fisher’s show was a great show to kick off the use of Fleurish as an art gallery.

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