Sunday, March 16, 2014

Local Art Seen: Heino, Bello, Boman, Kustermann and the PRØVE

The Actress, by Rodrigo Bello
As always, there's a lot happening in the local Twin Ports arts scene. And such variety! Inasmuch as a picture is worth a thousand words, and a blog entry is not supposed to be more than 400 (I try to cap mine at 800) today's report will probably be closer to ten thousand "words." There is so much to show and tell.

When I left the office Thursday evening there were at least two openings I wanted to attend. The first was John Heino's photography at Lake Avenue Cafe. I'm both a friend and fan of John's work. Anyone who follows John Heino Photography on Facebook is routinely treated to the experience of awe. I meant to ask how long the work will be displayed in this upscale little gem of a place, so you might as well go sometime in March while it's fresh on your mind. Lake Avenue Cafe is located on the back side of the DeWitt-Seitz Building in Canal Park. (I have always loved that name.) When Kevin Spacey was in town filming Iron Will, this was one of the eating places he favored. Now that it is under new management, the menu is even better. Check out both.

Mary Boman
Mary Boman is a veteran Northland painter. For her 80th Birthday the family felt they should have an art opening, which they did. Lizzard's Gallery on Superior Street. Her paintings of flowers are beautifully rendered in warm pastel watercolors. Her most current work includes some exploratory new developments. As we approach our eighties we really can keep breaking new ground. The show is aptly titled Watercolors and Cake. Stop in to see her wotk, say hi to Jeff and enjoy everything else on display there. It's a very special place.

Before heading home I made a detour to Trepanier Hall (AICHO) to see Karen Savage-Blue's Landscapes of Northern Minnesota. Ha! I was a week early, which means I got to see some paintings by Rodrigo Bello in the halls there. I love Bello's evocative, often haunting images. This was a very pleasing surprise.

A piece by Brent Kusterman
Print by Kusterman
Friday noon hour I took in Brent Kusterman's paintings and prints at the Red Mug Coffeehouse where I'd stopped for a meeting and a bite to eat. Kusterman considers it to be the duty of an artist to bring a unique perspective to the world, a process "never fully mastered." He uses a variety of mediums to create his work, sometimes even found objects that others might discard to the trash bin. I found the work worth engaging and would encourage you to do lunch there sometime before the end of the month. You may just stop in for coffee, but any excuse will work.

Caleb Wood and his visual graffiti
Finally, Friday evening rolled around and with it another interesting "Second Friday" event at the PRØVE. Essentially, three young artists were given permission to express themselves on that beautiful expanse of white walls at the gallery. Alexis LeBlanc's section of wall was the first you encountered as you walked in the door from Lake Avenue. In the lower left was a little drawing of a man with a large balloon of things he was saying beginning with "Blahblahblahblah..." LeBlanc's whimiscally imaginative extended doodle had a certain Escheresque quality as each scene morphed into the next. It was a fun ride.

This piece carried us to the next wall of doodles by Flo Doodles, primarily repetitive flowing but interspersed with other messaging. Caleb Wood garnered the back wall which was half filled with vertical rows of iconography. The upper half served as a projection screen. Wood has a strong attraction to animation and despite his youth has posted more than 60 movies on Vimeo.

Things are shaping up for a stellar spring art season.  Here are a few more images from Friday evening.


Meantime, art goes on all around you. Celebrate it.

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