May is a time of renewal in Minnesota. Shaking off the long grey winter, the land becomes a wonder of beauty – from its cornfields to its forests filled with Norway pine. And like the fertile green shoots that spring from rich black soil, the transformation in its people is palpable. It is a 4-month celebration of the senses; a ritual that forever connects us to our 10-thousand lakes. A unique bond that always calls us back home to the lush Boundary Waters, a secret fishing hole or the traditional pilgrimage to tMay is a time of renewal in Minnesota. Shaking off the long grey winter, the land becomes a wonder of beauty – from its cornfields to its forests filled with Norway pine. And like the fertile green shoots that spring from rich black soil, the transformation in its people is palpable. It is a 4-month celebration of the senses; a ritual that forever connects us to our 10-thousand lakes. A unique bond that always calls us back home to the lush Boundary Waters, a secret fishing hole or the traditional pilgrimage to the family cabin. It’s a combination of heritage and passion; a need to mimic and honor nature. It’s a state of mind we call The Good Life. he family cabin. It’s a combination of heritage and passion; a need to mimic and honor nature. It’s a state of mind we call The Good Life.
I am making an attempt to convey several things with my paintings. The colors are influenced by the more vibrant color I see in the dream world at night. Also I am idealizing the flower or leaf, seeing it as an icon, an object of contemplation and meditation. I hope to convey a state of no-mind, the place of the higher self, the place of larger truths and compassion. The painting could be a doorway to connect with the world’s love energy and it’s enlightenment.
The mandala shape as in the concentric circles of a labyrinth and as a symbol of wholeness and healing, is a profound inspiration for me. The organized psyche centers around love-beauty-gratitude- appreciation.
The Confluences Garments refer to the landscape at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers located at Pike Island just below the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.
These pieces are made of silk then eco-dyed on site with river water and windfall plant material from three distinct locations at Pike Island. They are further hand-stitched with additions of tanned carp skin and felted with raw bison wool gathered after spring shedding.
A confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water, and it can also refer to a coming together of people or things. The confluence at Pike Island seems like a natural vortex where things come together. The Mississippi River forms its only true gorge here and bison lived on these bluffs before US settlement. Migratory flyways pass by, and the island is home to remnants of its native flood plain plant community. The place where these two great rivers meet is also tied to human history. A deep and many layered story originated here long ago with the Dakota people. Much later, there was the building of Fort Snelling on the bluff above the island, US presence, settlement, and now modern day growth. Today, a maze of activity follows bridges, barges and air traffic across this landscape.
I was introduced to rug weaving over 35 years ago as a folk art. The tradition of using recycled clothing to weave decorative and functional household items appealed to both my creative and thrifty nature.
I have woven thousands of yards of rugs for people, developing my own style and color schemes. I continue to experiment with different patterns, my own dyed cloth and new cotton fabrics to create contemporary designs from a traditional craft.
I follow the tradition in which making a pot is collaboration among clay, fire, potter and user. The potter seeks the tension among them, so that each element has its place and none dominates for too long.
The work is sturdy and bold. Simple decoration enhances the forms and surfaces. Traces of the artist’s hands are an antidote in protest to increasing uniformity. Impressions made in soft clays reveal my ties to the work, and the landscape where it is made.
My camera has led me to extraordinary places, fascinating people and revelations of understanding. I tell stories of those experiences through its photographs. The first was with my son, Carl. As first time father and primary parent, I had some learning to do. My interest in plant medicines brought me to South America where shamans and indigenous healers shared their healing philosophy. Like all Minnesotans, I was deeply disturbed by the collapse of the 35W freeway bridge in 2007. I sought out the survivors and first responders to tell their stories through interviews and portraits. I followed my camera around Minnesota to find self-taught artists in their landscapes, a project that was inspired by my work as a curator.
While I was working on the self-taught artists project, I became aware of the seductively beautiful landscape of Minnesota’s Iron Range. I returned to it in 2011 to discover Minnesota’s most incredible story and best-kept secret. The iron from northern Minnesota built America and won two world wars. That’s its economic history. But its evolution and people are even more fascinating.
It’s also a classic story of immigration that built America. Forty-five nationalities came to the wilderness seeking their fortune in a demanding landscape. People looking for promise of a better life found a place of challenging weather where they worked hard for low pay. Generations in this environment evolved a proud, resilient people. They brought their culture, music, and home country cuisine with them that, along with a mining heritage, now defines a community unlike any other in Minnesota.
I work in Raku process of firing clay – a Japanese method that uses fire and smoke to create unique patterns and designs. The piece is first bisque fired, then glazed and undergoes a Raku firing at high temperature. Each work of art is one-of-a-kind and many have been created based upon nature, seasons, worldwide cultures, and influences from life experiences. I pay painstaking attention to detail, from concept to finish. I hope my work reflects the dedication and pride I feel in each piece.
Rachelle and Teri Meagher create abstract mixed media paintings collaboratively and individually. Lifelong Minnesotans, both of their upbringings have revolved around the climate and landscapes of the area. Natural processes such as oxidation, patina, and various organic patterns, landscapes and wildlife are all used as inspiration.
Inspired by architecture, landscape, and the rural Midwest I re-imagine these lines and forms into the ceramic vessel. My goal is to bridge rural roots with the urban environment creating pieces speaking to both. Modern ideals and an appreciation of tradition are in mind while working and exercised with craftsmanship, glaze alchemy and the investigation of ceramic form.
I have always considered myself a journalist. Most of my imagery, drawings – paintings – prints, were created after direct observation. My years of driving public transit enabled me to be ultra-attentive – I observed much activity – that stimuli had to be dealt with. I was constantly filtering all the sensory data surrounding me. Rather than retaining all that information I quickly learned to determine the importance of that information, retain that which was necessary and discard the non-important.
These prints are the end product of my observations on and near the North Shore of Lake Superior.
I observe – I filter – I respond.