Sunday, November 10, 2013

Local Art Seen: Kindling

I had a chance to see the Washington Studios Co-op Members Show yesterday afternoon, an impressive exhibit with more than forty pieces by a whole range of member artists. The show, which opened Friday evening here in Duluth, was titled Kindling and will be open for viewing over the next four weeks.

There are two definitions for "kindling."
1. easily combustible small sticks or twigs used for starting a fire.
2. (in neurology) a process by which a seizure or other brain event is both initiated and its recurrence made more likely.

"Here's the KEY" by Russell V. Gran
I didn't get a chance to inquire about the meaning of this title selection, but the second definition certainly fits the bill. Seeing this collection of work kindled activity in the brain, my brain, as the variety of work and its caliber initiated a desire to interact with new ideas. The more I see the work here in these Central Hillside studios, the more I want to see.

Having been a regular at many of the openings this year I have become familiar with the various artists and their styles. The pieces in this show included works by Michael Converse, Ryan Tischer, Karolyn Carpenter, Monica Ares, Carla Hamilton, Beth Carpenter, Emanuel Eisele, Samantha Pranger, Russell V. Gran, Emma Rustan, Flo Matamoros, and Andy Hardman. Here are a few of the pieces that especially caught my attention, with comments. Do try to see the show first hand. First hand experiences are always better than mediated ones, in my opinion.
"Buda Elephant" by Carla Hamilton was a favorite of mine.
"Double Women" -- Flo Matamoros continues to startle and surprise.
Ryan Tisher's "Moods of Maple III" tryptich is striking as usual.
Andy Hardman's "Cowboys" captures the vastness of the American West.
The alcove had several interesting pieces.
Emma Rustan's colorful "Grape Girl" has a stained glass window feeling.
There's much more to see; I am only giving a foretaste here. I encourage you to check out the works now on display at Washington Gallery the next weekend afternoon that you are downtown. 

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