Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fine Arts

I was recently contacted on Facebook by an artist I went to school with at Ohio University, Kim Abeles. Kim was a fellow art student at Siegfried Hall whose innovative work showed that she clearly had a future in the arts. My recollection was of a number of very talented young people who seemed exceedingly committed to new visions, not simply getting a grade. It was a fertile time for releasing the powers of imagination. The energy was such that I believed a movement was being germinated. But alas, upon graduation we splintered in an array of directions. Ultimately, art remained important to all of us.

Kim ended up in California and somehow, undoubtedly by means of the emerging Internet, I contacted her again in 1996. She responded by sending a book titled Enciclopedia Persona, which had been published in conjunction with the Museo de Arte de Santa Monica. Kim's work was being exhibited throughout South America.

I visited Kim during my first business trip to California in 1998 or thereabouts, and had the privilege of seeing her studio. Impressive! Some of her work included etchings made solely by placing glass on the roof and allowing the L.A. smog to do the etch. One of these was a collection of dinner plates that had portraits of U.S. presidents from McKinley to Bush in the center of the plate with historical quotes declaring a commitment to the environment on the rim of each. The power of this collection was that each image had been created with about a week's worth of Los Angeles smog. I kid you not.

During our visit I lamented privately that I was somewhat envious of her output and her life of ongoing creative expression. She encouraged me to re-connect with my roots in the arts and not give up.

After more than twenty years in advertising, I have always been grateful at the opportunity to make a living and provide for my family by means of applied creativity. There are, however, other creative disciplines that have value as well. To some extent making art -- painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. -- is therapeutic, and to some extent it is an exploration of possibilities. While I am reluctant to call our visit "the" trigger event to push me back toward a more earnest commitment to the fine arts, it was certainly one such prod.

This past week I have been in the process of framing drawings and paintings, preparing work for a first show, at The Venue in Duluth's West End. It's an adventure, and if you are in the vicinity I invite you to partake of it. I will keep you posted of the details.

Of Kim Abeles, her newest adventure will be a show in China. I'm confident it will be a thought provoking experience for anyone who takes it in.


M Denise C said...

Have a great show--wish I could attend! I enjoy your pics on your posts and have made some of them my wallpaper.

ENNYMAN said...

Thank you... It will be interesting.
As for the wallpaper... I'm flattered!
Thanks again for the encouragement.

ENNYMAN said...
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