'Paint Local': It all hangs together
With bold colors, rich textures and themes including cows and Finnish wall hangings, the popular "Paint Local" exhibit has brought a steady stream of people to the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, museum director and curator Laurel Reut...
With bold colors, rich textures and themes including cows and Finnish wall hangings, the popular "Paint Local" exhibit has brought a steady stream of people to the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, museum director and curator Laurel Reuter said.
"We're finding people are surprised at how strong the work looks and how well it hangs together as an exhibition," Reuter said.
The exhibit -- which features works by Pirjo Berg; Lori Esposito; Adam Kemp; and Dyan Rey, Grand Forks; and Zhimin Guan and Mike Marth, Fargo-Moohread -- will be open through Sunday.
Reuter said her original intent for the exhibit was to introduce to the community Pirjo Berg, an artist who just moved here. Berg (whose husband is Jaakko Putkonen, UND assistant professor of geology) was born and educated in Finland and has joined her husband's work travels around the world.
"Her current work is very Finnish and is influenced by the light and color of Finland and by the textiles that hang in every house in Finland," Reuter said.
Her works are bold rectangles of black, chocolate brown, gray and deep taupe cut with big belts of color.
When Reuter began considering other artists to join the exhibit, she thought of Lori Esposito, a new faculty member with the UND Department of Art & Design. Much of Esposito's work is mysterious with rich color and images that invite a lot of examination.
Dyan Rey's images use bright primary colors in the round and oval sensual shapes of flowers. Zhimin Guan's part of the exhibit is a sample of his (still ongoing) series of 100 portraits of "doers and dreamers" in the art world of the Red River Valley and beyond. Mike Marth's work, including "Flight of the Earls # 2," is tactile and tribal with muted background colors decorated with rug scraps, slivers of wood, nails and screw heads, wire, leather, even forks, spoons and eyeglasses.
Adam Kemp's contribution to the show is his cow series, painted at a local farm. Its showpiece is an immense (about 11-foot by 12-foot) painting of the rear view of a huge reclining cow whose docility is a sharp contrast to how her size overwhelms everything else in the painting.
"I think when you take six people and the only thing that ties them together is they live in a certain place, you expect to have a disjointed exhibition," Reuter said. But "Paint Local" is not disjointed. It all goes and flows, and -- as Reuter said -- "hangs together."
"I chose artists who were creating work that has an intensity and a looseness of paint application," Reuter said. "Although all of the artists are doing figurative work, there is an abstract quality to the handling of the paint, which is what I refer to as a loose handling of the paint."
After "Paint Local" closes, the museum's Autumn Art Auction pieces will go up. The 11th annual Autumn Art Auction will be Nov. 7.
After that, from Nov. 19 to Jan. 17, the museum will bring back its acclaimed exhibit, "The Disappeared."
Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .