Friday, May 29, 2015

Local Art Seen: Adam Swanson at the Duluth Aquarium

I first encountered Adam Swanson's paintings in 2010 or thereabouts. His themes frequently involved bicycles, penguins, hot air balloons and wind turbines. The rich colors and the spirit of his work have made his work highly recognizable in the local community, often being displayed in group shows as well as solo events.

Last night I attended the opening of his latest exhibition at the Duluth Aquarium featuring 23 new animal paintings and 4 existing ones. Mary Bue supplied a musical backdrop on the keyboards. The setting is completely complementary to  Swanson's subject matter.

The artist statement on his website explains his approach:
In my work I deconstruct the ideas that are part of our childhood and adult culture. My work also addresses the future, fragility of the human presence, perseverance of nature and underlying threads of danger that underpin societies. There is a deep relationship between art and science. The more we learn about our surroundings, where we came from and who we are, the more likely we will thrive in a universe of endless possibilities.

His paintings are both entertaining and accessible. That is, they don't require a deep art history background in order to be appreciated. They are warm and inviting. And I love the titles.

This show will be on display through June, I believe.

"Life Boat"
Mary Bue on keyboards adds warmth to any occasion.
"I Had A Lot Of Fun"

Next week the DuSu film festival will be showing a documentary about the making of the Adam Swanson mural which now is on display at Spirit Mountain. Even if you can't make it to the film, be sure to find a way to visit the chalet at Spirit Mountain sometime... if not for the mural, then for the spectacular view. 

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

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