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Work of Art: Nature Calls

August 04, 2010 10:55 PM by Rebecca Ford


On Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, the five remaining contestants travel from the bustle of urban New York City to the tranquility of a nature preserve to create nature-inspired art. It’s a double elimination week, so the stakes are very high and those who survive will be heading to the finale!

As the contestants eat breakfast, judge Bill Powers stops by to let them know they will be going out of town. The contestants hop in the cars, and end up at a beautiful nature preserve.

China Chow greets them, and lets them know that only three will head to the final challenge next week, so this will be a double elimination week. She also tells them that this week, they’ll be working with nature. The judges want to see how nature inspires them. She also wants them to incorporate some of the raw materials of the preserve into their art.

The contestants start walking around and picking up stuff. Abdi, who has been on the bottom for the last two weeks, is beginning to doubt himself. Nicole spends her time looking for acorns because they are seeds for trees. Miles feels calm in the woods, and finds a cool fungus he wants to play with. Jaclyn is uncomfortable in the woods, and doesn’t seem to be having much fun.


The contestants head to the workspace. Peregrine is making a human form out of trees. A shirtless Abdi takes some photos of himself for a self-portrait he wants to draw. As the artists work, Jaclyn is feeling sick and takes a nap. It seems like a pretty risky move for the very last challenge.

Miles wants to do something on death. He wants to mix ammonia with bleach, most commonly known as mustard gas. But he then realizes that it would be really rude to create that in a shared space. At midnight, the artists head home for the day.

The next day, the artists continue to work. Abdi is mixing the gravel he collected with some black pigment to he can draw with it. Miles begins his construction, and it looks like a giant piece.

Jaclyn asks the group if she can use a photo that she took in the bathroom this morning, which is a clear problem for the other contestants. She used other time that wasn’t for the project, so the other artists say they aren’t OK with it.

Simon de Pury stops by to check out the work. He is excited for Abdi’s piece, but feels like it may need to be clearer about the connection with nature. Jaclyn comes off very rude to Simon and has nothing to show him.


The artists continue working after Simon leaves, and Peregrine gets some advice from Miles. She decides to make her piece about people having sex in public parks. Jaclyn decides to use a metal bar for the horizon.

The next day it is time for the gallery show. The artists scramble, as usual, to finish their pieces. Miles is not happy with the final piece. Miles helps Abdi finish his piece, which shows that sometimes he’s a friend before a competitor.

At the gallery show, the judges check out the pieces. They seem confused by some, and impressed by others. They then spend some time talking to the artists about their pieces. They like Abdi’s piece because it’s really about him. They like Peregrine’s ideas, but feel that the cutouts were too simple.


As for Jaclyn’s piece, the judges feel it is a little flat and impersonal. They also feel that Nicole’s piece about her ancestry is not engaging. They praise her for her risk and China Chow calls it beautiful. Some of the judges feel she didn’t push it enough.

The judges praise Miles for his piece because he starts to let go of his need for control. The judges praise his piece once again. The judges talk over the pieces, and then ask the contestants to come back in so they announce the winner and losers.

The winner of this challenge is Abdi! His struggle was worth it, and he’ll be heading to the finale. Miles also gets a spot in the finale, of course. Now, two of the remaining contestants (all women) will not be moving on to the finale. Jaclyn is sent home first. The final spot is between Peregrine and Nicole. China announces that Nicole will also be going home. Peregrine will be joining Abdi and Miles in the finale.

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Topics: Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist |

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