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Artist brings 'Urban Swamp' to FAT Village Artwalk

When Lake Worth artist Ashley Nardone wants to study nature up close, she doesn't seclude herself in a state park. Instead, she takes to the streets of South Florida, noting how cypress and sea grape trees interact with concrete architecture. Her artwork emphasizes this merging of natural and urban environments.

"A lot of my goal is to try and highlight the fact that there are really beautiful and unique trees in our area," Nardone says. "You don't have to go all the way to the Everglades. It's here."

Nardone's work will be on view Saturday, Nov. 29, at Cadence, the Fort Lauderdale architecture and urban landscape agency. The exhibition, titled "Urban Swamp," will be shown in conjunction with the monthly FAT Village Artwalk.

For this exhibition, Nardone took black-and-white photos of trees and plants in urban areas and printed the images on sea grape leaves. She sewed additional details directly on the leaves.

"I started looking around for plants that I could grab a couple of leaves of, and they are literally everywhere," she says. "If you drive down I-95, probably 85 percent of the plants that you see on the side of the road are sea grape leaves."

Nardone also will exhibit two mixed-media sculptures. One is a cypress tree built from papier-mache and other paper materials. A metal mangrove tree has leaves made from piano parts.

"It's a combination of my love of South Florida and really finding my home here, and then having plants on my brain," Nardone says with a laugh. "My biggest goal is to have people who are living in South Florida really just enjoy it here."

"Urban Swamp" will be on view 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at Cadence, Suite 2, 435 N. Andrews Ave., in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Go to, @babicorb or 954-356-4710

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