Of the Earth

Ever since she was young, KJ Hunter-Neff has been fascinated with the world around her. She has always been enchanted by the notion that everything she sees in nature is unique, and now strives to reflect that quality in her creative endeavors.

“The artistic style in me comes from all things of the earth,” said Hunter-Neff. “My art reflects a unique style in creating life-like images made with stone, shells, wood, palm husks and many other natural composites. My art is all natural – very one-of-a-kind.”

Within the last year, she had the opportunity to open her own business, and since has discovered art “pouring out of her.” Aptly named “Of the Earth,” Hunter-Neff’s gallery serves as a portal into her world of creativity. Upon entering, one is met with displays of 3-D art including masks, wall-hangings and stone bowls, made entirely from natural materials. “I feel my art makes people stop and take a moment to look at the beautiful earth around them, and see,” she said.

Hunter-Neff’s ceremonial masks, which come in all shapes, sizes and colors, are made out of wood from various species of palm trees. “I use different sections of the tree, starting with the spathe, which is the flower pod of the tree, to the husk which wraps to the bottom,” she said. “I use their natural size and shape to make all sorts of practical and creative things.”

Her stone creations run the gamut, ranging from mandala-like pieces to animal designs. She has crafted the likeness of animals from fish to butterflies to owls, incorporating many unconventional but natural materials, such as fossilized shark teeth and stingray barbs, dried ornamental raffia grass, sea urchin spines, animal furs and drift wood. For the stone medium itself, she uses many different varieties, including blue stone slate and shale, rolled volcanic rock, limestone and river stones died and tumbled from Indonesia, Hawaiian volcanic sands, Lake Ontario sandstone, and sea glass.

To see Hunter-Neff’s creations, visit Of the Earth Stone Art Gallery, located on the south end of Skaneateles Lake on Glen Haven Road. For more information, visit her website at www.oftheearthstoneart.com.

by Kimberly Price

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