Sadly, you may have noticed a dearth of pictures in the last couple of posts. I love having images to show off. It makes reading more fun and it’s an enjoyable challenge to me, to find pertinent ways to show what I’m trying to describe.
But I’ve found it’s a whole different ballgame when my subject matter is art. Artists’ bread and butter are the products created from their unique take on the world. To copy and paste an image, no matter how innocently, is a breach of trust and a threat to their livelihood.
The Napster controversy vividly illustrates how complicated the issue is and how difficult it is to protect music. The same is true for the visual arts.
So, I’ve had to forgo images that would have made these posts more appealing. I hope you’ve noticed the live links and have clicked on a few to see what’s behind them. There’s a wealth of color awaiting you!
During Art-A-Whirl on May 15th, I went to the Northrup King Building in response to two e-mail invitations from artists whose work I admire. I started at Jeff Lohaus’ metal-working studio. I’ve always liked his sculptures, but it wasn’t until just recently that I discovered he’s also a vibrant painter and an outstanding photographer. If you get a chance, check out his upcoming Pierogi Project, a 17 ft statue of a favorite Polish food, sponsored by NE Mpls Comm Dev Corp (NECDC). (If you’re in a buying mood, view the 7 and 15 inch bronze maquettes of the statue and consider becoming a sponsor of this unique project.)
Because my grandfather ran and maintained a linotype machine for a small-town newspaper, I am unduly thrilled with presses of all types. For example, during Will Smith’s 2009 movie “Seven Pounds,” I was surprised to see several of these mechanical behemoths and the delicately beautiful engravings they produce. It’s no wonder that I went to Angel Bomb Design + Letterpress studio to see a Heidelberg press in action and to take away a sample (and a memory or two).
On the third floor, I visited Andree Tracey’s studio. I have a favorite t-shirt of hers (Compost Queen) that I cherish from years ago. Now she’s working on less-humorous subject matter, including a surreal series entitled “Numbered Days,” featuring endangered animals.
Also on the third floor is Loretta Bebeau’s studio. Loretta has four pieces in the upcoming Revealing Culture exhibition at the Smithsonian’s International Gallery as part of the VSA Festival in Washington, DC. A comprehensive article about the exhibit, VSA’s goals and a list of artists can be found at this Yahoo site. Of Loretta’s works, my favorite is the installation TicTacToe #5, which incorporates woven transcripts from Holocaust interviews.
Sharra Frank is another professional artist I enjoying following. She works in mosaic and teaches popular classes showing how to incorporate found objects as well as the more typical glass and stone. Her art is playful and gorgeously intricate, with strong design elements.
Before my legs gave out, I also visited the shared gallery space of Mike Wohnoutka and Susan Feigenbaum, both of whom should be much better known. Mike’s sketchbook alone is worth a visit to his website, but his giraffe and alligator paintings are icing on the cake. What big eyes they have! Susan’s colorful, textural ceramics, including Petite Guardian, Probe and Two Out of Three, have a distinct other-worldliness to them.
My hope is that these three Twin Cities posts will encourage you to check out some of these artists by visiting their websites and, if you live here, to take advantage of the open studios around town during Minneapolis’ First Thursdays or St Paul’s Lowertown First Fridays. Meet the artists! Spread the word!
Thanks for visiting! –Chris