Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Art as a Story Telling Medium: Hermantown High Student Show @ Beaners

Mya Austin raced to complete this piece in time.
When we were in school in the Sixties we may have been lacking in real-world life experience, but we were not devoid of thinking about some of the profound conundrums of our time. The issues of race relations, materialism, war and teenage angst were all real enough in the books we read and the music we listened to. Though I don't recall a single incidence of mass shootings in our schools, being in the midst of the Cold War and having practiced air raid drills while growing up taught us that the world was not an entirely safe place, and the worst could wipe us out in a flash even while loitering between classes.

These thoughts came to mind while taking in the current Hermantown High student show at Beaners, with artwork designed to make people think. In March I visited the art class to get a sneak preview of the show, and promised to do a follow up. If you get a chance, drop in and grab some Beaners coffee, say hello to Jason and Becca, or whomever is serving, and slip into the front area where various monthly art exhibitions are displayed.

Some of the work here was shared on my March blog post, but when I slipped in for the opening reception I quickly noticed plenty that was new. The theme is The Illusion of Control, and every piece has a story. What follows are a few of these stories, visualized.

If it looks like a man with a Rorschach test for a head, that's because it is.
When a person is slightly off kilter, that is, mentally ill, it's evident to everyone.
There are many kinds of addictions that can trip us up. This piece (above)
depicts power, vanity, beauty, alcoholism and drug abuse. 

Amanda's painting of Hera is a snapshot of the goddess after she kills Zeus, her husband.
This scene from the Garden of Eden...
... is followed by this picture featuring a serpent wrapped about
an arm tattooed with the words "Me Too" in Hebrew.
For excellent examples of art being used to portray stories, I recommend checking out the weekly cover art from The New Yorker. Always timely, every picture tells a story.

In the meantime, if you're in the vicinity of Spirit Valley/West Duluth, stop in and check it out. There's more than meets the eye.

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