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Art Club members exhibit at Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance Gallery

Posted by Judy Korn on Monday, Sep. 22, 2008

Event Date/Time: Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2008
End Date/Time: Friday, Oct. 31, 2008

The current Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery exhibit features the work of 13 members of the University of Minnesota, Morris Art Club. The gallery is located at 630 Atlantic Avenue, downtown Morris. The exhibit can be viewed Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. through Friday, October 31, 2008.

An exceptional exhibit and a learning opportunity
Visitors to the PRCA gallery will quickly experience the visual impact of the mixed media exhibit and recognize the significant talent evident in the show that includes a mother gracefully sketched, a ceramic teapot artfully thrown, and a delicately sculptured elephant with four-foot legs. Although not as readily apparent, the exhibit also represents an important learning opportunity, beyond the classroom and campus, for the student artists—participating in an invitational juried show.

The juried show process began last spring when the Art Club received an invitation to participate and students submitted jpg images of their work to the PRCA for consideration. Tracy Otten, associate professor of studio art and Art Club adviser, shares: “The Art Club is a co-curricular activity, which means it supports the coursework that happens in the classroom. The PRCA exhibit has allowed the students to learn the jury process and to set up a show. This has been a great teaching opportunity.” Otten’s own work in printmaking and mixed media collage has been shown in more than 60 regional, national, and international exhibitions.

Representing the Art Club,
three students share thoughts on making art

Heels by Erica Jacobson, Waverly, provides a bright burst of orange in the Art Club exhibit. While usually creating hardware cloth sculptures, Jacobson has explored the same theme in several mediums, including the screenprint submitted for the show. “I’m intrigued with mannequin legs,” she shares, “and how the feet are always shaped for high heels.” The senior studio art major’s interest in sculpting has roots in her childhood. “I’ve always loved to build—legos, model rockets. I’m attracted to tactile work like collage and altered books, too.”

Mitch Mcquire’s passion for art has also been present since childhood: “Since I was a kid, I’ve been dreaming about becoming an art teacher.” That goal will be realized in spring 2009 when the Annandale native graduates with a studio art major and teaching licensure for kindergarten through grade 12 art education. Panorama of the Morris Turbine, Mcquire’s exhibit piece, is a digital print created with 172 layered images of the wind turbine located on the ridge just beyond the campus.

Amber Janey’s It Wasn’t Me black and white photograph captures objects unexpectedly found near her parent’s home in Little Falls. The composition creates an unsettling mood, yet viewers curiously draw close to study the content. A senior studio art/art history double major, Janey is interested in film photography, adjusting tones and creating images. “I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to do,” she says. “Art.”

Janey notes that the Art Club “brings people together who are interested in art, not just art majors, and provides opportunities for the campus and the community to get involved.” The student group organizes trips to art museums and galleries in New York City, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and coordinates the children’s Art-o-rama event and the Annual Art Club Holiday Sale.

Campus and community collaboration
The Art Club exhibit illustrates the PRCA’s mission to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area. States Lori Kurpiers, chair of the PRCA exhibit committee: “The Art Club show is another successful community and campus collaboration. I’m particularly thrilled to have the exhibit and reception at the PRCA gallery during UMM Homecoming as the community welcomes alumni back to Morris.”

UMM Art Club members selected for the show include: Nick Blahna ’08, Sartell, Elephant, steel rod, steel wire, vellum, polyurethane Tara Connolly ’08, Danvers, Winged Sunset, woodcut, collograph, screenprint Erica Jacobson ’09, Waverly, Heels, screenprint Amber Janey ’09, Little Falls, It Wasn’t Me, photograph Deb Larson ’09, Ortonville, Orchids and Jade, oil on canvas Jeremy Lindorff-Trnka ’08, Minneapolis, teapot and wood fired ring vases Cassandra Luetmer ’08, Morris, vase, slipped and glazed stoneware Brett Lysne ’08, Crookston, Another fable about waiting patiently, etching and screenprint Ali McDonagh ’08, Hastings, My Life, My Friend, My Mom, graphite drawing Mitch McGuire ’09, Annandale, Panorama of the Morris Turbine, digital print Gavin Nelson ’08, Lakeland, Mr. Jason in Chair, etching Jacque Sullivan ’08, Westwood, Kansas, Saucer Magnolia, cast iron and Sam Wahl ’08, Watertown, South Dakota, Flesh and Iron, photograph.

Photo: Amber Janey '09 (left) and Erica Jacobson '09 setting up the Art Club exhibit at the PRCA Gallery