Let me tell you about the river land that became a city…
As I stand by the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis,
I look at what is and wonder how it used to be. As an artist who makes art about the places
I love, I ask, “What more can be known about this place?”
Reading history and geology and examining old maps and photographs, wakes up my imagination.
Then painterly layers of mixed media and fiber techniques express the
visual richness of the natural world, encouraging viewers to feel what I see and see what I imagine.
In Minneapolis, we live with the consequences of choices made in the 19th century.
The decisions made then changed the terrain sculpted the land, and changed how life was lived here.
For example, my home in south Minneapolis is built from trees that were once the forest to the north.
Today? My neighbors are replanting the original prairies in garden plots 5-foot square!
Becoming aware of the attitudes that got us here is going to help us with the changes
that are coming. My new work for the Beyond the Surface exhibit reflects shadows
of what we have lost and asks what can be retained.
What is our responsibility to the present—and to the past?
OCTOBER 13 – DECEMBER 8 – Beyond the Surface at Larson Art Gallery, University of Minnesota, St. Paul Student Center, 2017 Buford Ave., St. Paul,
I was taught by expert lookers that there is more to know than just the surface.
I grew up in small Midwestern towns, spending summers on my grandparent’s farm with storytellers—people who noticed the ordinary but remarkable things that surround us. “Look at that,“ my grandmother would say as she pointed out a piece of bark, a shadow, bird, flower, or tree. “See how the light is dancing on the water?” my grandfather would ask. Then, after pointing out some ordinary thing, they’d give me a little bit more information like where a specific rose in our garden came from. “Grandma’s mother brought that yellow rose from her garden in Virginia.” Or, “see that outflow of water and those stones?” and I would receive a little geology lesson about the exact spot where we were standing. There is always more to know, and knowing more can deepen your connection to a place. That way of experiencing the world led me to study history as well as art and has me wanting story to be a part of my visual expression. The story shapes what I feel, and the feeling shapes how I use the materials. For example, fabrics that reflect or absorb light can change how active or calm the surface will be. Can I make you feel what I see and know?
As a practicing artist, I exercise my curiosity about any place I want to express in my artwork. I use mixed media and fiber techniques in painterly layers to effectively express the visual richness I experience in the natural world, striving for the viewer to feel what I see.
As a practicing artist, I exercise my curiosity about any place I want to express in my art work. I look, then I look it up, and ask, “what more can I know about this place?” I use mixed media and fiber techniques in painterly layers to effectively express the visual richness I experience in the natural world, striving for the viewer to feel what I see.This piece is currently in the State Fair Fine Arts Show which opens next Tues August 22