Monday, April 10, 2017

Water's Edge Exhibit Now Open

Journey through the Water’s Edge with artists from Spectrum ArtWorks.


Water's Edge

Through a variety of mediums and personal connections each artist guides you into this liminal space. Inspired by the Minnesota landscape, nicknamed The Land of 10,000 Lakes, the art evokes a unique yet collective experience of a sense of place that reflects on water, our precious resource.

Exhibition Dates: April 9-May 31, 2017

Gallery Café
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, University of Minnesota
3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318

Reception: April 29 / 1-3:30 PM / Tea Room

Curator: Martha Bird

Program at 1:30 pm facilitated by Spectrum ArtWorks
Light catered snacks in Tea Room
Live music from Andrew Turpening

Michaela Rachor, Deer by Pond

Water’s Edge is curated by Martha Bird and will be featuring her basketweaving work. Fifteen artists, from Spectrum ArtWorks, a group which Martha belongs to, will also be exhibiting.

Exhibiting Artists:

Ashley Adams
Cecile Bellamy
Martha Bird
Andrew Braunberger
Faye Buffington-Howell
Peter F. Hinze
Kandace Krause
Samuel L.
Matt LaCombe
Ruth Lais
Michaela Rachor
James E. Sjolin
Julia C. Spencer
Shining Starr
Wallace R. White

Martha Bird, Fishing Creel Basket

More on the curator:

 Basketweaving is a first love for Martha Bird, which began while living in Michigan in the 1990’s. She made her start at Association of Michigan Basketmakers and after many classes and a convention, she ventured out on her own to create baskets under her own tutelage at Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts, then People Incorporated’s Artability and also the Spectrum ArtWorks studio. Martha has studied with nationally and internationally known basketmakers and will be traveling to Ireland this June to study with four Irish basketmakers utilizing willow. This is Martha’s first time putting an art exhibition together; from obtaining the partnership with the Arboretum, organizing a show around a certain theme, and motivating a group of artists. She has truly demonstrated her leadership. “I continue to keep an eye towards expanding my skill base, incorporating a variety of natural fibers and finding opportunities to share my art,” Martha says. In addition to being a dedicated artist and organizer, Martha is also a strong mental health advocate and is dedicated to speaking to mental health stigma during the reception of Water’s Edge. “I know my own struggles with maintaining my mental health recovery and what things can help that venture. I want to bring that healing experience to other people…art, time out in nature, gathering with people and sharing a common experience. We will do that on Sat April 29th at this artist show and reception. I hope you will come join me and put beauty in your eyes for the afternoon,” she continues. As with many Spectrum ArtWorks exhibitions, living with mental illness is merely an element that brings these gifted artists together; it does not define the individual.

Artist/Curator Statement:

I am a self-taught multidisciplinary artist with a primary focus on basket weaving. I have made the move to career artist in the last year, and as a member of a professional artist collective I have received a number of commissions for my basketry work. As a newly emerging artist, I am asking myself, what does it mean and what does it take to be a career artist?

I have always been creative, though I began my professional career as a nurse. When I was injured and could no longer work full time as a nurse, I reconnected with my creative self and discovered that I did not need to give up healing work. Working as an artist has been both healing and professionally fulfilling.

I work intentionally through my hands and body to create shapes and designs that express and connect my soul and mind to invite wholeness in both the work and in myself. My work weaves together the healing in body, mind, and soul to create a beautiful, often functional piece of art. I want my work to express and document my life’s healing journey.

I believe that art pursued in community is a healing and creative force. This art can be based in functionality and still be artistic expression. I want my creations to be usable and to call to one’s senses. Foundational basket weaving skills are critical to ensuring functionality, even as it emerges as visual art.

I want to explore basket weaving as a blend of the traditional forms of the medium with avant-garde practices, an experiment with method and technique. I am drawn to push the strictly utilitarian into contemporary art forms without sacrificing function.

I want to incorporate materials that are local natural fibers into my basketry. As my hands explore the material, I begin to discover its hidden design potential. Even as I create one piece, the work itself suggests the artistic potential for the next. I find myself particularly drawn to willow and curious about the use of cattails, pine needles and iris leaves.

Curating the Water’s Edge has allowed a voice for my leadership abilities. I feel I have something to share. This is in direct contrast to what the effects of having Post traumatic stress disorder has left me feeling. I am furthering my own recovery by participating in my community. I couldn’t do it without the ever ready support of Jes Reyes head of the Spectrum ArtWorks program and all the staff at the Lighthouse. Their belief in me and encouragement has fueled me forward.

Peter F. Hinze, Canoeist

More on Spectrum ArtWorks:

Since 2004, Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE, has been working to support professional artists living with mental illness. Located at the Lighthouse, a Community Support Program in Minneapolis, the program meets its mission through a community-focused and recovery-based approach. Its multi-faceted art studio and programming assists artists at reaching and maintaining their artist-related goals such as making new art, connecting with other artists, and accessing exhibition and grant opportunities.

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