Mel Kolstad: 200 Days: A Life in the Quotidian
Viewing our exhibits is free because of the generosity of Horicon Bank.
200 Days: A Life in the Quotidian
Exhibition Dates: March 7 – April 20
Artists’ Reception: Thursday, March 7, 6 – 8 pm
Free admission and open to the public, meet the artist as you view her work. Cash bar and snacks available.
When Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts first approached me for this solo exhibit over a year ago, I knew I wanted to “go small” but didn’t quite know which medium to showcase. I also wanted to make a ridiculous quantity of pieces. Enter drypoint! And tininess! And watercolor! I wanted to challenge myself and create very tiny prints – each of the prints measures only 1.5×2”. Every one of them is a drypoint print first, and probably 95% of them are enhanced with watercolor.
Beginning on April 1, 2018 and ending on October 20 of that year, I created a drypoint print a day. That’s 200 days (give or take three days, because I just forgot). Each piece began with a photo I took that day, and I gave myself rules – no going out of your way to get a photo; no “cheating” and taking a week’s worth of photos in one day; and try not to “pose”.
Because I had no idea what was going to happen on any given day, this project was a complete surprise to create. I couldn’t plan for anything! It was so exciting to see how my prints turned out once I had created the drypoint print from the photo, and again after applying the watercolor.
This exhibit is site-specific; I purposely made 200 pieces for the exhibit and the size they are to fit the gallery. The only thing I knew immediately was that I wanted the prints to be framed identically and to be hung in a straight line, like a “timeline” or journal of my days.
I hope you enjoy the exhibit as much as I enjoyed creating it for this beautiful space! Approximately 1500 hours went into the creation of these little friends, and it is most certainly my magnum opus at this point in my career.
But something else happened along this 200-day journey – I fell in love with my work again. I would catch myself tearing up with happiness when creating these small friends, because I realized just how lucky I am to be able to do this. It was the most important thing to come from this exhibit.