Every time my friend Diane and I try to see her friend Joyce Lyon's paintings or drawings we have an adventure—ending up at the wrong location, or finding the location closed. The latter was the case last week. (Joyce's show is now closed so I can't suggest you get out to it.)
Maybe it's just that Diane and I have taken so many road trips that every outing is like a mini-road trip. Whatever the reason we always have fun, we never feel lost, we always laugh, and if we are seeking art, we always find some—so it was on to the Groveland Gallery.
There we encountered this bat, tucked into a stone nook at the side of the front steps. (Close-up mode on my camera really works well even when you hold the camera at arm's length. I saw things when I popped the images on the computer that weren't visible on the day.)
We also encountered some stunning art from the two featured artists. In the main gallery, Jean Gumpper, a Colorado artist, has her woodblock prints displayed. "Waterscapes" includes images of lily pads and marshes, leaves and trees. The color palette is rich. The contrast is striking. The prints are reduction woodblock prints. (The artist carves the block for the first color, prints the entire run with that color, then cuts into the woodblock and prints the next color, continuing in this fashion until the final color is printed. There is no going back in this method as earlier "plates" are destroyed in the printing process.) There is a print run (a print of each color showing the process) also available for viewing.
In the Annex Michael Kareken has "Paper, Glass, Metal"—his drawings and paintings of trash and recyclables at trash facilities. Don't go "eew" like one couple who walked right in and out when they saw the subject matter—it's their loss. Stay and look at the artistry with which Kareken captures an unexamined part of our world. He has drawings on mylar using Conté crayon which are fascinating examples of capturing motion and mess with direct marks and the reclaiming of highlights by rubbing out from a toned ground. You will never look at those huge magnets in metal yards the same way again. And you might just be smitten by the stacks of compacted paper on a slick industrial floor all glowing with a light you'll have to blink at. These are paintings that make a statement of our time, just as 18th century paintings of blacksmith forges did for their day. Kareken teaches at MCAD.
Both of these shows are up until April 10.
During our mini-road trip Diane and I took time to enjoy the brilliant sunlight and unseasonably warm April temperatures. We looked at the glorious brick and stone buildings in the Minneapolis Warehouse district. Many of these buildings have found new life as locations for new businesses and homes and studios for artists.
I was particularly taken with the fire escape/fire-fighting apparatus of one building on North Second Street.
Take advantage of our early spring and have an art and architecture adventure this week.