Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Local Art Seen: Flight at the Zeitgeist Cafe


Last night I attended the opening reception for Ann Klefstad and Bridge Riversmith's exhibition titled Flight at the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe. The art primarily features paintings related to birds, though a few pieces reflected other nature themes, including water, butterflies, and rabbits. The opening, on the upper level of the restaurant, was well attended, almost packed even.

Fascination with birds is probably as old as time. Bird characters appear in Egyptian hieroglyphics, and at the turn of the 16th century A.D. Leonardo DaVinci took an intense interest in birds, making drawings and writing a treatise on how birds achieve flight. He had a personal interest in manned flight.

I myself have done more than a few paintings and drawings of birds. Not sure what makes them so compelling, but it has been a recurring theme from long ago. Hence, it only feels natural to find an art exhibition in which birds are the stars.

As a young artist Ann Klefstad spent a number of years in Los Angeles before becoming a North Country transplant. Her love of our natural surroundings is reflected in her work, which includes sculpture, photography, painting and drawing. She has a wealth of knowledge about art and the arts, and served at one time as an art critic for the Trib.

Biomachine Whales Clean Up Trash Islands
I first saw one of Bridget Riversmith's creations at a Duluth Art Institute Steampunk show in 2012. Called a Recycl-O-Scope it was a variation on 19th century zoetropes. I've since been at a couple shows where her work was featured. Much of her work has a playful quality with titles like Red Rabbit Evades a Vaportrail, and Biomachine Whales. On one wall upstairs was a sequence of five pieces that were designed like frames in an animated short. This was titled "Letting Go" and featured a character releasing a bird.

Ravens and crows feature prominently in Klefstad's work, with a variety of titles like Angry Crow, Ukranian Crow, Crow Over The Lake, Crow In Snow, Inquiring Crow and Old Crow. There were other themes, however, from Catspaw and Sea Snake to Blue Fog and Lonely.

The show itself fits the space nicely with pieces both captivating and delightful. Recommended: take a friend to lunch or dinner and spend just a little extra time taking in the show.

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Riversmith's "Letting Go" (fifth picture)
Meantime art goes on all around you. Enjoy it. 

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