Seismic Shifts, Structural Anomalies, and Impossible Dreams by Liz Miller
Exhibition will be on display from June 13 – July 27, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, June 14, 6 – 8 pm
A curator-led tour will begin at 6 pm exploring the current art exhibitions.
Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.
Artist’s Exchange: Friday, June 14, 5:30 pm
Free admission and exclusive for THELMA members, listen to a Q&A talk and learn about her process, inspiration, and execution of her work. Cash bar and snacks available.
Liz Miller received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Miller’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. Her awards include a McKnight Professional Development Grant from Forecast Public Art, a McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, an MCAD/Jerome Foundation Fellowship, and five Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Miller recently completed residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC. She lives and works in Good Thunder, MN and is Professor of Installation and Drawing at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
My work explores the fallibility of infrastructure and the precariousness of perception, as seen through a materially-intensive, process-based lens. I utilize undulating planar forms in conjunction with fabric and rope as a metaphor for shifting landscapes, altered topographies, and imagined realities. References to the natural world and the built environment collide in interludes that are alternately beautiful, absurd, menacing, and poetic, alluding to the complexity of our world. Tensions between fact/fiction and dimensionality/flatness are endlessly intriguing to me, playing out in my work as a dialogue between reality and illusion.
I have become fascinated with ropes and knotting as byproducts of my process. In my large-scale installations, knotted ropes provide tension that gives volume to otherwise flat materials. This technique has revealed the possibilities of knotting as an autonomous aesthetic expression. The varied use of rope and knotting across cultures and history ranges from utilitarian to decorative, and even deadly. I create interdependent knotted topographies that allude to both structure and malleability. The repeated act of tying by hand integrates an emphatic sense of strength, while the flexibility and nuance of the textile material ensures structural permutations. The resulting works are only quasi-architectural, providing metaphorical insight laced with humor as related to a variety of structural and systemic behavior.
Don’t miss this THELMA favorite! 800 lb. Gorilla is a rock/jam band based in Indianapolis, Indiana. With a rock and roll core, the band pulls together funk and jazz influences to create driving, catchy, danceable grooves. A five-piece band, 800 lb. Gorilla places rock-solid guitar, funky keyboards and sax on top of a drums-and-bass rhythm section. The band’s original music blends indie-esque songcraft with funky, jazzy improvisation.
Exhibition will be on display from August 1 – September 21, 2019
Lester O. Schwartz: A Retrospective
An exhibition of work by Lester O. Schwartz that spans his 8-decade career as a painter and sculptor
Artist Statement by daughter, Tanya Schwartz-Roeper
More than 80 paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and memorabilia come together to trace the eight-decade long career of Lester O. Schwartz. This exhibit reflects the chronology of Schwartz’s life as he moved from his birthplace of Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Chicago, to traveling the world, and finally settling in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1944 as artist-in-residence at Ripon College. The exhibit begins with Schwartz’s childhood, continues through young adulthood, his career at Ripon College, the years following the untimely death of his wife and how he found his strength and energy to cope with the loss through the pursuit of art, and the last decade of his life after his stroke. Born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1912 to Russian-Jewish immigrants and educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Schwartz was part of a flourishing art community in the 1930’s. Schwartz’s work evolved over time and this exhibit showcases his innovative exploration and experimentation over a range of media throughout his lifetime.
Lester O. Schwartz studied art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Imperial Art School in Tokyo, the Colarossi Academy in Paris, and the American Academy in Rome. He spent two years of study and travel around the world as the winner of the Edward L. Ryerson Traveling Fellowship in the late 1930’s. While a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Schwartz worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in both Wisconsin and Illinois as a commissioned artist creating murals, lithographs and paintings. In the 1940s he served in the United States Army at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri where he was assigned the task of creating paintings for the chapel. Schwartz worked briefly as an art instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. In 1944 Schwartz founded the art department at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin and served as Artist in Residence and professor until his retirement in 1977.
In 1991 Schwartz turned his Green Lake, Wisconsin home and land into an art gallery and sculpture garden open to the public during the summer. He used the terrain as a living canvas upon which he created and placed his steel sculptures. His winters were spent traveling and painting all over the world including Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Mediterranean locales.
After suffering a debilitating stroke in 1996, Schwartz’s daughter, Tanya, assisted her father in maintaining the art gallery and leading tours until his death in 2006 at the age of 93. Recipient of numerous awards in the 1930’s-1960’s, his work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie in Pittsburg, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Salon d’Automne in Paris. His paintings have been included in many one-man and group shows and in public and private collections around the world.
Jacob Miller attributes his enamoring sound to two brilliantly contradicting influences — formal performance and nomadic adventure. Miller is an accomplished player, having spent seven years leading a sextet, touring throughout North America and internationally to play for crowds of thousands. During that time, his relationship to music surpassed eccentric to border on fanaticism. He dedicated the entirety of his being to investigating, studying and dissecting American music, and his hard-earned understanding of sound is evident in the thoughtful arrangements and subtle production touches that make up his upcoming release.
However, Miller considers his professional stints and intense self-education no more important to the whole than time spent working as a farm hand in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina — which shaped his devotion to the finger-picking style of the region — or countless hours given to vintage recordings alongside aging locals in Appalachia — which culminated his profound appreciation for phonics timeless. Whether it’s resonating across Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall or quietly stirring a Midwestern living room, Jacob crafts music with care, sincerity and audible joy.
Exhibition will be on display from September 26 – November 9, 2019
Artist’s Exchange: Saturday, November 9, 3 – 5 pm
Exclusive and free for THELMA members, meet the artist in a Q&A talk and learn about his process, inspiration, and execution of his work. Cash bar and snacks available.
“If I think about the universe, and what science tells us, life as we conceive of it appears almost infinitely rare. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t meditate on what I see as the utter scarcity of this human condition, or if I am to speak more inclusively, this life condition. I am unable to take for granted, at least for very long, that we are beings complete with consciousness, an ability to sense beyond ourselves, and to communicate our impressions and feelings. If we distinguish ourselves from the inanimate, we as conscious entities form but mere micro-specks within the vast milieu of non-living material and empty space. What are the odds?”
“Painting, while it covers much ground in terms of the various energies that drive the process, ultimately brings me back to this phenomenon, and with cause for celebration. While working, I often see myself operating as both creator and observer, somehow in charge, but never more than a step ahead of the painting itself. The work bears a life of its own, and I feel like only a catalyst at key moments of development. When I am satisfied with a piece and consider it complete, I find myself more witness than owner, as though the spirit of the image continues to pulse just beyond grasp.”
David Criner is an artist working in Chicago. In his recent work, he transforms material in pursuit of an image which celebrates the present moment of life and consciousness. He received a BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois in 1991, an MFA in Painting from the University of Kansas in 1995, and has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Europe. David teaches in the Art Department at Northeastern Illinois University.
Now We Here: The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance by Vitus Shell
Exhibition will be on display from September 26 – November 9, 2019
My large scale paintings are geared toward the black experience, giving agency to people from this community through powerful images deconstructing, sampling, and remixing identity, civil rights, and contemporary black culture. In my work, I strive to bridge the gap between the older and younger generations by exploring and uncovering factors that contributed to the unfortunate relationship breakdown between the two.
Moreover, my layered, mixed media painting examines parallels between present day behaviors and attitudes that date back to African roots. With my current work, I continue experimenting with portraiture, acrylic paint, over-sized photocopies of early 20th century vintage advertisements and the incorporation of a foam-cut printing technique. My artistic goal is to exude the hip hop lifestyle with a southern vernacular. Through the use of the vintage advertisements allows me to create narrative based environments, which comment on stereotyping, bigotry, and oppression. The foamcut printing method provides me with the added layers to include text and icons, such as the minstrel images. Having spent much time researching graffiti art, I incorporate a variation of its characteristics, techniques, and unique aesthetics into my work such as paste-ups, stamps, and stencils. Using graffiti techniques allows me to challenge the viewer’s perceptions of what is considered low art or high art, which also addresses classism.
From bluegrass to funk to folk, Armchair Boogie delivers dynamic original performances nationwide.
Time to cut, tear, glue and make a mess! We will have fun telling stories with pictures and other materials that are collaged together into a single artwork. We will work with color, texture, shape and pattern to create amazing stories inspired by vision and imagination.
All materials are provided. Class size is limited. This class is for all ages. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult or a sibling over the age of 12.
Studio 51 is sponsored by the Oberreich Foundation.
Not a THELMA member but would like to take advantage of these savings? Learn more and join HERE!
The mixed media class is a group of artistic experiences rooted in one fundamental creative principle –providing you with a foundation that will inform and inspire your vision and imagination. We will explore line, color, texture, shape and pattern through a unique project utilizing a wide variety of techniques and materials.
The class is open to students of all artistic levels. All basic materials provided. Feel free to bring your own materials if you so choose. Adult class. Ages 12 to adult welcome. Instructor lead.
$20 ($16 for THELMA members)
Register HERE or call us at 920.921.5410.