Saturday, April 25, 2015

Local Art Seen: Earth Day Weekend Gallery Hop

Today in the Twin Ports is the Art for Earth Day Gallery Hop, which includes a shuttle for those desirous to avoid parking hassles. I was able to make it to several locations last night and desired to share some of what I saw in order to encourage others to get out today to experience it first hand.

My first stop was Phantom Galleries Superior, where Maria Sippola and Adetomiwa Gbadebo shared the space John Heino and I filled in our 2011 Red Interactive show.  The pop-up gallery is housed in the New York Building on the 1400 block of Tower Avenue in Superior. If you should visit today (10:00 a.m. - 5: p.m.) you will be greeted by an immense energy. Gbadebo's dynamic color explosions fill the wall spaces, with fascinating ceramic and sculptural works by Sippola standing on pedestals throughout the hall.

Sippola has been an art student at UWS. "A Modest Assortment of Interjections" is her Graduate Exhibit.

Yoruba artist Adetomiwa Gbadebo hails from Nigeria and lives both in the Twin Cities and Africa. I asked about his influences, seeing similarities to Basquiat in his work. He stated that Julian Schnabel has been an influence, especially as regards the scale of his pieces. The artist told me that one of his paintings is 52 feet long, but was not on display here.

On his website he describes himself in this manner:

Born Prince Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo in Abeokuta, Nigeria; Prince Gbadebo uses his Yoruba heritage and experiences to create his pieces based on emotions and the journey that life stitches; as well as embody a spiritual trance while he creates. As multiple beginning ideas develop in his conscious and unconscious mind, they tend to evolve into much more with the guidance of his Yoruba ancestors, Orisha’s and Philosophies. He also pushes to teach humanity to truly see what they are choosing not to, question all conscious solutions given; while selflessly aiming for positive progression for all alike and different. Yoruba spirituality and cultural music as well as activist and Afrobeat founder/musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti also has a huge influence on why he creates fierce and strong works of art today.

Prince Gbadebo states “I create art for my future, my family’s future, my ethnic future, Nigeria’s future and for those around the world; who need inspiration and hope to deal with humanities prosperities and discords. I create to challenge peoples’ previously unquestioned intellect. I want my people as well as those foreign to my existence, be reminded of where they have come from (their existence as human beings) and where they need to go, for a sustained equilibrium of life”.

Humbly he states, “I am just a Yoruba man and mortal; a vessel sharing his philosophies and journeys with others, for a better enlightened future for humanity; socially, morally, economically and spiritually”.

Phantom Galleries will also be open Sunday as well, from Noon till 3:00 p.m.

Across the bridge it was good to connect again with Linda Powless whose work is on display in the Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin Gallery at Trepanier Hall. The title of her show is "Journey" and the variety of pieces were assembled to display the lessons she has learned along the way in her life experience.

From here I slid over to PROVE Gallery for the whimsical Homegrown Illustration Show in which regional artists were assigned (or selected?) local bands and persona to paint or draw. The presentation was fun, with decorative "frames" painted on the wall around each piece.  (These I will share in a separate post later this weekend)

A new show at Lizzard's Gallery has been installed, titled Feathered and Aquatic Creatures Abound. In addition to the new work you will find works by a variety of local favorites including Patricia Canelake, Adam Swanson, Aaron Kloss and Scott Murphy.

For a list of galleries open today for the gallery hop visit their Facebook Page.  Now in its 25th year.

Adam Swanson
Patricia Canelake
Linda Powless shares her Journey

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

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